Fiscal Policy and Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa

IMF Seminar

imf seminars event

DATE: October 10, 2014

DAY: Friday

5:15 PM - 6:45 PM

LOCATION: George Washington University, Lisner Auditorium

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A significant number of countries in sub-Saharan Africa have seen rapid economic growth over the past decade. However, in a number of countries, the fruits of economic growth have not been well-shared and income inequality has increased. Following up on the central theme of the Africa Rising conference in Mozambique, making growth more inclusive, this seminar organized jointly by AFR and FAD would address the role of fiscal policy in reducing inequality in low-income countries, with a particular focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Conventional wisdom has been that in LICs, low levels of both tax revenue and social spending limit the redistributive impact of fiscal policy. This seminar will discuss that view against the background of recent successes in LICs at broadening tax bases, the introduction of social transfer systems, and the availability of new technologies, such as mobile banking, which are offering new avenues for fiscal policies to become more redistributive. Panelists would include LIC policy makers from SSA and other regions.
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Fiscal Policy and Income Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa


Prof. Martin Ravallion

Prof. Martin

Prof. Ravallion has written extensively on poverty reduction and economic policy including in his previous role as Director of the World Bank’s research department. He is President-elect of the Society for the Study of Economic Inequality; Senior Fellow of the Bureau for Research in Economic Analysis of Development; Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research; and non-resident Fellow at the Center for Global Development. He was awarded the John Kenneth Galbraith Prize in 2012.

Antoinette Monsio Sayeh

Antoinette Monsio

Before joining the Fund as Director of the African Dept. in 2008, Ms. Sayeh led post-conflict Liberia through its HIPC Decision Point and 1st Poverty Reduction Strategy, as Finance Minister in President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s Cabinet. Ms. Sayeh worked for the World Bank for 17 years, including as Country Director for Benin, Niger, and Togo, Advisor in the Operations Policy Vice Presidency and Assistant to its principal Managing Director. She holds a bachelor's degree with honors in economics from Swarthmore College and a PhD in International Economic Relations from Tufts University.

Lucien Marie Noël Bembamba

Lucien Marie Noël

Mr. Bembamba was appointed Minister in 2008 after a distinguished career in public office spanning 15 yrs, incl. as Deputy Minister in Charge of the Budget and Director General of Treasury. Prior to this, he was at the Central Bank of West African States in Dakar, in the Directorates for Central Credit and International Relations.  Mr.  Bembamba graduated with Master’s Degree in Economics from the University of Bénin in Lomé, Togo and holds a diploma in Advanced Banking and Financial Studies.

Henry Kiplagat Rotich

Henry Kiplagat

Mr. Rotich was the Head of Macroeconomics at the Ministry of Finance prior to his appointment as Cabinet Secretary, formulating fiscal policies to meet the Government’s development priorities. He worked at the Research Department of the Central Bank of Kenya and the IMF local office in Nairobi. Mr. Rotich holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School as well as a Master’s and a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics (First Class Honors) from the University of Nairobi.