Sub-Saharan Africa: Just a Rough Patch?

IMF Seminar

imf seminars event

DATE: April 15, 2016

DAY: Friday

11:30 AM - 1:00 PM

LOCATION: George Washington University, Jack Morton Auditorium

Friday, April 15 AT 11 30 AM

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Reflecting the slump in commodity prices, tighter global financing conditions, and meager policy buffers, economic growth in sub-Saharan Africa has weakened markedly to 3½ percent in 2015, the lowest rate in some 15 years. This slowdown and the macroeconomic difficulties it has engendered—particularly in a number of the region’s larger economies—is likely to dominate the news and policy discussions in the coming months. This panel will discuss a number of key questions. Is the Africa Rising episode over? What kind of macroeconomic policy response can help strengthen the region’s resilience to external shocks and unlock its growth potential?

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Sub-Saharan Africa: Just a Rough Patch?


Moderator: Nancy Birdsall


Nancy Birdsall is the founding president of the Center for Global Development's. From 1993 to 1998, she was executive vice president of the Inter-American Development Bank, where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio. Before that she worked 14 years in research, policy, and management positions at the World Bank, including as director of the Policy Research Department. Prior to launching the Center, she served for three years as Senior Associate and Director of the Economic Reform Project at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She is the author, co-author, or editor of more than a dozen books and many scholarly papers. Ms. Birdsall received her Ph.D. in economics from Yale University and an M.A. from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.

Mitsuhiro Furusawa


Mitsuhiro Furusawa was appointed Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on March 2, 2015. Previously, Mr. Furusawa was Special Advisor to the Prime Minister and to the Minister of Finance in Japan. Mr. Furusawa served as Executive Director for Japan at the International Monetary Fund from 2010 to 2012. He has served as Vice Minister for International Affairs at the Finance Ministry, and held various diplomatic positions. Mr. Furusawa studied Law at the University of Tokyo, and is also a graduate of France's Ecole Nationale d'Administration.

Claver Gatete


Until his appointment to the Finance Ministry, Claver Gatete served as Governor of the National Bank of Rwanda since May 2011. He is not new to the Ministry of Finance which he served in as Secretary General and Secretary to the Treasury from 2003 to 2005. From 2001 to 2003, he worked in the Office of the President as a Personal Representative of the President on NEPAD Steering Committee; Coordinator of the National African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), member of the APR National Commission; and Member of the NEPAD’s African Partnership Forum (APF). Before joining the Office of the President, Claver Gatete worked with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) – Kigali-Rwanda as a National Economist. He holds a Master’s Degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of British Columbia in Canada.

Kemi Adeosun


Mrs. Kemi Adeosun is the Minister for Finance for the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Prior to her appointment as Minister, she was Commissioner for Finance in Ogun State; one of Nigeria’s fastest growing States. She is the first woman to have held that position. Among her many professional attainments was pioneering the introduction of the Centralized Treasury System in Ogun State in 2011, culminating in significant fund recovery and reduced borrowing costs. Her expertise spans Audit, Risk, Management Consultancy, Investment Banking, Pensions Administration and Public Sector Financial Management. She has held senior roles in various institutions including British Telecom Plc and PricewaterhouseCoopers in the UK. In Nigeria, she joined the Chapel Hill Denham group in 2002 as Financial Controller and rose to become Managing Director, until her resignation in 2010, to start her own consultancy—The Quo Vadis Partnership.

(As of April 2016)

Arvind Subramanian


Arvind Subramanian is the Chief Economic Advisor to the government of India. He was Assistant Director in the Research Department of the IMF, served at the GATT, and taught at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and at Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.  In 2011, Foreign Policy Magazine named him one of the top 100 global thinkers.

(As of September 2016)