60th Anniversary of IMF African Department

Virtual High-Level Event

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F&D Magazine Special Feature

Africa at a Crossroads: Learning from the Past and Looking to the Future

A new series of articles take a closer look at the issues critical for the region's development.

IMF African Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie takes wide angle look at how demographics, digitalization and climate response can drive an "African Century."

  • Ken Opalo of Georgetown University provides an unflinching view of what's at stake if governments in the region don't democratize the management of their public finances, and why it's important for the region's development.
  • The IMF's Pritha Mitra and Ha Vu delve into how pursuing climate-responsive infrastructure investment provides broad-based benefits for society.
  • Emerging Markets fund manager and former World Bank economist Gregory Smith explains how the recent emergence of African government borrowing on global capital markets should be celebrated but also include safeguards and improvements. Also be sure to read a recent review of Smith’s book on the subject by the IMF’s Vivek Arora.
  • The World Bank's Hana Brixi, Laura Rawlings and Elizabeth Koechlein describe how improving educational, health and economic opportunities for women and girls is necessary to unlock the region's immense potential.
  • The IMF's Atish Rex Ghosh and Anna Postelnyak look back at how the IMF and its African Department have evolved since the middle of last century to meet the needs of low-income countries.
  • 60th Anniversary of IMF African Department

    December 15, 2021

    Did you know that the IMF’s African Department was created 60 years ago this year? To commemorate this anniversary, a second and final virtual event in the AFR@60 series will take place on Wednesday, December 15.

    Participants will explore the ways that Africa, the IMF, and the African Department have evolved over the past 60 years. The discussion will focus on IMF programs in Africa, greater transparency, enhanced policy dialogue and capacity development. Panelists will include sub-Saharan African policy makers, politicians, financiers, academics, and civil society representatives.



    Welcome remarks

    Antoinette Sayeh (Deputy Managing Director, IMF) 

    IMF and Africa: Sixty Years of Africa’s Development

    IMF African Department Director Abebe Aemro Selassie chairs a roundtable of distinguished panelists for a discussion on economic development in sub-Saharan Africa over the past decades, and the IMF’s evolving role on the continent.

    Panel 1

    ModeratorAbebe Aemro Selassie (Director, African Department, IMF)


    • Adama Coulibaly (Minister of Economy and Finance, Côte d’Ivoire)
    • Donald Kaberuka (Former President, African Development Bank)
    • Peter Kamalingin (Pan Africa Director, Oxfam)
    • Ngozi Okonjo-Iwaela (Director-General, WTO)
    Perspectives on the Future of Africa in a Post-Pandemic World

    IMF Deputy Managing Director Bo Li chairs a roundtable of experts to discuss future perspectives on Africa from many dimensions, including economic development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), climate change adaptation, gender equality, political perspectives, and social achievements.


    Moderator: Bo Li (Deputy Managing Director, IMF)


    • Deborah Brautigam (Director, John Hopkins China-Africa Research Initiative)
    • Vera Daves de Sousa (Minister of Finance, Angola)
    • Yaw Nyarko (Professor of Economics, New York University)
    • Charles Robertson (Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital)