High-Level Seminar on African Finance for the 21st Century

Organized by the IMF Institute and the Joint Africa Institute
Tunis, Tunisia, March 4 – 5, 2008

Despite achieving macroeconomic stability in recent years, many countries in sub-Saharan Africa are still struggling to maintain a sustained economic growth path fostering economic development and poverty reduction. The consensus in academic as well as policy circles is that strong institutions are a necessary condition for sustainable growth. Many have argued that, among the large array of institutions that foster growth, a well functioning financial system is a sine qua non for development. The financial sector facilitates market exchange, mobilizes and pools savings, allocates capital efficiently and makes risk management possible.

The starting question of this high level seminar is: to what extent does the financial sector in Africa play these roles? And how can the efficiency of this institution be improved so that they can play a more active role in economic development? The seminar will allow participants to share their practical experiences in the financial sector. This will provide an opportunity to debate practical solutions for overcoming key obstacles that stymie financial sector development.

Targeted participants include high-level officials from governments, including ministries of  finance, economy, planning, and development; financial regulation and supervision agencies, and central banks. The seminar will involve contributions by experts from official agencies in Africa, international financial institutions, the private sector, and academia.

The seminar is being organized by the IMF Institute under the auspices of the Joint Africa Institute. Cofinancing has been provided by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID). Attendance is by invitation only. Queries regarding the seminar may be addressed to insinfo@imf.org.

Provisional Program

Tuesday, March 4 Session Subject
8:15–9:00 am   Registration of Participants
9:00–9:15 am   Welcoming Remarks
Mr. Leslie Lipschitz, Director, IMF Institute
Mr. Reza Vaez-Zadeh, Director, Joint Africa Institute
African Finance for the 21st Century: Setting the Stage
9:00–9:15 am I Setting the Stage
Chair: Mr. Peter Isard, Deputy Director, IMF Institute
    Finance and Growth: A Virtuous Cycle
    Speaker : Professor Stephen Haber, Department of Political Science, A.A. and Jeanne Welch Chair, School of Humanities and Sciences, Stanford University
    Finance in Africa: A Diagnosis
    Speaker : Professor Patrick Honohan, Institute for International Integration Studies and Department of Economics, Trinity College, Dublin
    General Discussion
10:30–10:45 am   Coffee Break
Theme I. Developing Financial Institutions and Markets
10:45 am–
12:30 pm
II Developing Sound Financial Intermediaries
Chair: Professor Patrick Honohan
    Developing a Sound Banking System
    Speaker : Mr. Louis Kasekende, Chief Economist, African Development Bank
    From Informal to Formal Financial Sector
    Speaker : Professor Ernest Aryeetey, Director, Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research, University of Ghana
    Case Study on Microfinance Institutions in Madagascar: Policies for a Viable Sector
    Speaker : Ms. Emma Andrianasolo, Director, Banking and Financial Supervision Commission, Madagascar
    General Discussion
    Lunch: View from the Private Sector
    Speaker : Dr. Cecilia Ibru, Managing Director and CEO, Oceanic Bank International, Nigeria
2:00–3:30 pm III Beyond Banking: Developing Markets
Chair: Ms. Geneviève Verdier, Economist, IMF Institute
    Stock Markets in Africa
    Speaker: Professor Lemma Senbet, William E. Mayer Chair, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland at College Park
    Financing Equity Creatively
    Speaker: Mr. Tom Gibson, SME Think
    General Discussion
3:30–3:45 pm   Coffee Break
3:45–5:15 pm IV Beyond Banking: Regional Financial Integration
Chair: Mr. Reza Vaez-Zadeh
    Regional Financial Integration
    Speaker: Mr. John Wakeman-Linn, Advisor, African Department, International Monetary Fund
    Case Study: The WAEMU Treasury Bill Market
    Speaker: Mr. Jean-Claude Brou, Special Advisor to the Governor, General Comptroller, Central Bank of West African States
    Case study on the FSRP in Rwanda
    Speaker: Ms. Consolate Rusagara, Vice-Governor, National Bank of Rwanda
    General Discussion
7:00 pm   Dinner


Wednesday, March 5 Session Subject
Theme II. Ensuring Efficiency and Soundness: Regulation and Supervision
9:00−10:30 am V Regulation and Supervision
Chair: Mr. Michael Fuchs, Lead Financial Sector Specialist, World Bank Group
    Regulatory Frameworks in Africa
    Speaker: Mr. Kal S. Wajid, Division Chief, Monetary and Capital Markets Department, International Monetary Fund
    Case Study: Regulating Microfinance
    Speaker: Ms. Jennifer Isern, Lead Private Sector Development Specialist, Consultative Group to Assist the Poor, World Bank Group
    Building Supervisory Structures for Africa
    Speaker: Mr. Marc Quintyn, Division Chief, International Monetary Fund Institute
    General Discussion
10:30–10:45 am   Coffee Break
Theme III. Practical Policymaking in Weak Institutional Environments
10:45 am−
12:15 pm
VI Designing Context-Specific Solutions: Reforms in Weak Institutional Environments
Chair: Mr. John Wakeman-Linn
    A Framework for Reform
    Speaker: Mr. Mark Napier, CEO, FinMark Trust
    Case Study: Public Registries for credit and property
    Speaker : Ms. Nataliya Mylenko, Financial Specialist, International Finance Corporation, World Bank Group
    General Discussion
12:15–1:45 pm   Lunch
1:45 pm−3:15 pm VII Concluding Roundtable: Keeping the Reform Momemtum
General Discussion
Chair: Mr. Leslie Lipschitz, Director
   Mr. Mark Napier
   Professor Lemma Senbet
   Mr. Louis Kasekende
   Mr. Njuguna Ndung’u, Governor, Central Bank of Kenya
Closing Remarks
   Mr. Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank