Showcasing a More Confident Africa

Christine Lagarde

Africa is on the move. While several other regions of the world have to address slowdown and uncertainty, many countries in Africa have been facing a contrasting challenge: to respond to the growing demand for their bountiful resources and manage rising investment in much-needed infrastructure. But at the same time, growing economic uncertainty in the world is raising concerns across the continent where vulnerability to global shocks remains high.

Christine Lagarde is visiting Africa for the first time as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund this week and she says that she hopes to deepen the Fund’s partnership with Africa.

Listen and appreciate

 “I’m really going there to listen and to appreciate what is expected of us by the African countries, by the African governments, by the African people as well, because it’s a region of the world which is facing both huge challenges and huge opportunities,” says Lagarde, who will visit Nigeria and Niger.

Lagarde with Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan

“ And if we can help in any shape or form by providing technical assistance, by offering policy advice, using our best brains, and by making available the resources that we have, and to give credibility to the reform programs that some governments have announced and are implementing, then the better,” she said in a pre-trip video.

Here’s a collection of material related to the visit:

6 Responses

  1. Does anyone here consider the fact that the interests of the financial sector can easily harm the welfare of the general population?

  2. Any economy which produces consumer middle class, ensures prosperity and progress for the majority of the people instead for a few elite. It is encouraging that the African people seem to have developed a deeper sense of self confidence (as reported by many commentators of IMF) ultimately leading to economic self-reliance. The IMF team’s visit under the able leadership of Madame Largarde will enable Fund management to evaluate the ground realities of those economies more realistically than what generally appears in the press or through NGOs.

    We strongly hope that oil and abundant mineral resources, if properly managed, will enable the African people to cross the threshold of low-income countries into developing countries sooner than is anticipated by some commentators. The African people need to reject the past and define their future in such a manner as to enable their coming generations to live a prosperous and happy life.

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of them.

    Javed Mir
    Lahore 20.12.2011

  3. Africans have to reinvent their present (for future generations)

  4. Africa is the next goldmine… with the amount of natural resources they have within the continent, they’re the future of the world.

    I’ll not be surprised if I find African countries to be among the leading nations in the coming 20 years… They have everything, they only need direction which will come through the right kind of leaders who have the ability to grow the country in the right direction.

  5. 1- There is growth in Africa. Obviously, the 2007 financial crisis was not detrimential to every country. There have been winners and losers.

    Anyway, Africa is a winner. Crisis was an opportunity rather than a threat. It has to be seen like this (as it is). But, there are as many challenges and risks as opportunities. So, one sees that being outside the main stream of development has its benefits sometimes.

    2- Let’s hope that this time it will serve Africa and the African people themselves rather than for others

    3- One wish — that they do not reproduce past mistakes, but make good quality decisions — and not just depend on the goods that their monies can procure. Making rational decisions about exchanges with Europe, for example. There will be enough time to see the irrational due to the uncertain world in which we are living today. Be realistic, and then combine actions with opportunism.

    All is about governance and quality decisions. Also, nothing can be perfect, but all is perfectible.

    The end of the year is a new start for next year. Wish happiness and the technical assistance works well.

    Merry Christmas 2011 and Happy New Year 2012

    Georges RADJOU, ceo, mba, dupebh
    BIRD- project manager/entrepreneur
    Enegy & Engineering, Sustainble Development
    ECOSOC Affiliate

  6. It indeed is great, and encouraging to learn that the head of the IMF is traveling to Africa to, as echoed in her own words, ‘listen and appreciate’. Yes, African countries should be ‘listened to’, consulted and take part in decisions that literally determine their lives and future. In most cases, they clearly know their challenges, and probably the solutions as well. What they are most likely lacking is resources to implement the solutions; while in other cases they know ‘what’ should be done, but may need help in the form of ‘how’ to do them.

    Yes, they also should be ‘appreciated’ for remaining resilient in most cases in the wake of the recent global economic crisis, for their ability to keep the momentum of optimism about the continent. They should be appreciated also, interestingly, for their success in convincing those who once thought the region is ‘hopeless’ to change their minds and call it, Aha, after all it is a very hopeful region!

    Most importantly, the visit also is an opportunity to ensure that the mistakes of structural adjustment policies of the 1990s (where a ‘one size fits all’ approach was more of the norm) will not be repeated, and also to ensure that the African reality on the ground will be taken into account in the Africa-IMF relationships.

    Unfortunately, we also understand that she is only going to visit Niger and Nigeria. Had this not been the case, and had she planned to also have a stop over in the South, East, North of the region; the resource-rich, but disappointingly very poor, the fragile and post conflict, etc. countries of the continent, the trip could have also been a unique opportunity for Madam Lagarde to observe on the ground that Africa is also diverse in its own right. Hopefully she and her senior management staff will continue such a visit and see for themselves that the macroeconomic policy responses to the situations in each African country do not necessarily have to be the same.

    I strongly believe that the visits will also go beyond just the policy makers, but also to the other stakeholders of the development process such as the private sector and civil society – maybe such a participatory platform during the visits will provide them, among many, with a partial answer about the limited supply responses to devaluation measures of the 1980s and 1990s. I think it is time for international development practitioners and policy makers to go closer to the people (and countries) that they are supporting. Well, one can even say that the visit therefore adds to the optimism about Africa.

    I say: Great to see ‘More Road-map than Google-map’ for dealing with Africa’s development challenges!

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