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Listen to IMF economists and other experts discuss key economic and financial issues of the day. Click on the play button. Alternatively, download the audio MP3 file—a popular digital music format for sound files. Broadcasters: this facility is also being made available to enable these podcasts to be broadcast on radio outlets free of charge. Also available in SoundCloud


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Eswar Prasad on the Curious Rise of the Renminbi

July 21, 2017

Eswar Prasad, Tolani Senior Professor of Trade Policy at Cornell University (IMF photo).

As China’s economy catches up in size with that of the United States, some predict the renminbi will soon challenge the dollar’s dominance in international finance. But in this podcast, Cornell University’s Eswar Prasad says there are limits to how far China’s currency can go without undertaking significant domestic reforms. Prasad, a former IMF economist himself, was invited to IMF headquarters in Washington to talk about his latest book Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi


Eswar Prasad, Professor of Trade Policy and Economics at Cornell University, Senior Fellow at the Brookings institution, and author.

Uganda: Rising Debt and the Promise of Oil

July 13, 2017

Construction worker in Hoima town, Uganda. More infrastructure and oil sector investment could boost growth (photo: JAMES AKENA/REUTERS/Newscom).

Drought, regional conflict, and slow credit growth are taking their toll on Uganda's economy. While per-capita growth has hovered around 5 percent for the last 20 years, the IMFs latest economic assessment shows it has fallen to 1/2 percent. In this podcast, the report's coauthor Axel Schimmelpfennig, says some strategic infrastructure investment and Uganda's untapped oil reserves could help turn things around.


Axel Schimmelpfennig, IMF Mission Chief for Uganda.

Growth in the Shadows: Sub-Saharan Africa’s Informal Economy

June 28, 2017

Makeshift bicycle repair shop in Quelimane, Mozambique. The informal economy is a key component of most economies in sub-Saharan Africa (photo: Ulrich Doering imageBroker/Newscom).

By 2035 sub-Saharan Africa will have more working-age people than the rest of the world’s regions combined. This growing workforce bulge will have to be met with jobs, but the region remains one of the toughest places to do business. Meanwhile, small-unregistered household businesses provide up to 90 percent of jobs outside of agriculture. The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa devotes an entire chapter on the informal economy, and in this podcast we speak with economist Ali Mansoor, coauthor of the study.


Ali Mansoor, IMF Division Chief for West Africa, and coauthor of the report.

Tayo Oviosu: Technology Draws More Nigerians Into Banking Fold

June 16, 2017

Tayo Oviosu, speaking at IMF World-Bank Spring meetings panel on Digital Financial Inclusion (IMF photo).

More than two billion people worldwide are without bank accounts, and only one in three adults in sub-Saharan Africa have access to any type of financial services. But Tayo Oviosu, Founder of Nigeria’s leading mobile payment platform says financial technology—or fintech, is making access to finance possible for millions of un-banked Nigerians.


Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga, Nigeria’s mobile payment platform.

Ian Goldin: Disruptive Changes That Will Transform the World

June 07, 2017

Ian Goldin says the present is a contest between the bright and dark sides of discovery (IMF photo).

While science and technology propel us into the future at what some would describe as breakneck speed, Oxford University’s Ian Goldin says we should draw from the past because we’ve been here before. In this podcast, Goldin compares the social division, political extremism and insecurity of the first Age of Discovery in the 15th Century, with what is happening today.


Ian Goldin, founding director of the Oxford Martin School, and Professor of Globalization and Development at Oxford University.


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