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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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Gaining an Edge with Big Data

September 13, 2017

Mobile-phone and internet users leave behind increasingly detailed traces that are valuable to Big Data companies (photo: Ingram Publishing/Newscom).

Good data and statistics can help drive economies and are the basis for sound policy decisions in both private and public sectors. The advent of ‘big data’ poses opportunities for private companies and public institutions to better understand today`s economic and social trends. A new study by the IMF shows how big data can also provide valuable insight for economic and financial analysis. In this podcast, coauthor Diane Kostroch discusses the benefits and the challenges that come with big data.

Diane Kostroch, IMF economist, Statistics Department.

Benno Ndulu: Champion of Inclusion

August 30, 2017

Tanzania Bank Governor Benno Ndulu, says inclusive policies offer growing youth population opportunities to make a living and stay away from trouble (IMF photo)

Only a third of adults in sub-Saharan Africa have a bank account, and in this podcast, Tanzania Bank Governor, Benno Ndulu, says the lack of access to financial services is a key constraint on the region’s economic growth. Ndulu is a champion for bringing financial services to the poorest segments of society and as the current Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, he has helped pioneer some of the most innovative policy approaches to extending the financial system to the unbanked. This conversation with Benno Ndulu is featured in the September 2017 issue of Finance and Development Magazine.

Benno Ndulu, Bank of Tanzania Governor, and Chair of the Board of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion.

Mthuli Ncube: Building Blocks for Africa’s Growth

August 17, 2017

Electricity pylons, Cape Town. Frequent power shortages cause problems for businesses in South Africa. (photo: Mike Hutchings/Reuters /Newscom).

While Africa’s workforce expands, the lack of modern and efficient infrastructure is inhibiting economic growth. The prospect of building power plants and transportation networks is daunting for many countries with limited resources, but in this podcast, former Chief Economist of the African Development Bank, Mthuli Ncube, says reducing risks for private sector investors could help Africa build the infrastructure it so desperately needs.

Mthuli Ncube, Managing Director of Quantum Global Research Lab, visiting professor at Oxford University, and co-editor of Infrastructure in Africa: Lessons for Future Development

Growing Pains: Malawi’s Struggle with Hunger, Climate Change

August 07, 2017

Children eating maize porridge at Demera school in Central Malawi. Providing food helps prevent school dropouts during a food crisis. (photo: IMF/Bruce Edwards)

Extreme weather has hit Malawi’s economy hard over the last two years. Severe flooding followed by a drought—the worst in its history—caused widespread crop failure and placed 6.7 million people at risk of starvation. But a remarkable humanitarian effort helped reduce the impact of the drought on the most vulnerable segment of the population. An increase by the IMF to the amount of resources it provides to Malawi, as well as sizable contributions from Malawi’s development partners like the World Food Program and the World Bank, enabled the country to address the worst humanitarian crisis in its history.

Oral Williams: IMF Mission Chief for Malawi
Jack Ree: IMF Resident Representative in Malawi
Goodall Gondwe: Malawi’s Finance Minister
Ben Botolo: Malawi’s Secretary to the Treasury
Coco Ushiyama: World Food Program Representative for Malawi
Roisin DeBurca: Unicef’s Deputy Director for Malawi
Laura Kullenberg: Country Manager for the World Bank in Malawi
Richard Record: Senior Country Economist for the World Bank in Malawi

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.

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