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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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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.

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.

Read the transcript


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.


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