IMF chief urges debt wisdom in maiden Africa visit

Countries should generate higher public revenues, make investment spending more efficient and strengthen management of public data, the new MD of the IMF says.

04 December 2019 | Economics

Room for borrowing in the region is not endless. - Kristalina Georgieva, MD: IMF

Diamniadio - New International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva this week highlighted Africa as a lure for investment as she kicked off her maiden visit to the continent, but urged leaders to be smart on debt management.

Africa has made "tremendous improvements", the IMF managing director said at a conference near the Senegalese capital Dakar on sustainability and debt.

"As a result, over the past two decades, extreme poverty levels have declined by one-third, life expectancy has increased by a fifth and real per capita income has grown by about 50%," she said.

"We have not been able to communicate sufficiently Africa as an investment destination," she added.

"We have to dispel the perceived riskiness of investment in the region," she said, emphasising that the key to this was "providing more up-to-date data."

But she also pointed to Africa's challenges, including demographic growth that would require up to 13 million new jobs each year, and the impact of climate change.

Productive financing

To increase social spending and to create the right conditions to attract investment requires money, and this raises the question of debt as a financing tool, she said.

"Borrowing does make sense if it is done wisely, if it finances projects that can boost productivity and living standards, if it materialises on the ground [with] more roads ... more airports, more schools, more hospitals, more opportunities."

But, she said: "Room for borrowing in the region is not endless," pointing to a surge in borrowing at commercial rates by many countries in the region.

State indebtedness has spiked as a result, although it has recently stabilised, Georgieva noted.

Countries should generate higher public revenues, make investment spending more efficient and strengthen management of public data, she said.

Georgieva also chided rich countries, which have pledged to provide 0.7% of their GDP in support for development.

"We are not there, by a long mile, we are still at around only 0.2%," she added.

After taking office in October, Georgieva last month warned that global debt, both public and private, had surged to an all-time high of US$188 trillion, "about 230% of world output." – Nampa/AFP

Similar News

 

Debts, joblessness fuel latest rating downgrade

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Economics

Rating agency Moody's downgraded Namibia's economy on Friday to a Ba2 rating but changed the outlook to stable, citing among other things rising government debt...

Interest rates remain unchanged

6 days ago - 04 December 2019 | Economics

The Bank of Namibia (BoN) this morning left its repo rate unchanged at 6.5%.This means the prime lending rate of local commercial banks will remain...

Gender inequality hits home

6 days ago - 04 December 2019 | Economics

Gender discrimination in the labour market and the high youth unemployment rate needs to be tackled in order to close gaps in the housing market...

IMF chief urges debt wisdom in maiden Africa visit

6 days ago - 04 December 2019 | Economics

Diamniadio - New International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva this week highlighted Africa as a lure for investment as she kicked off her maiden visit...

Sudan militia leader grew rich by selling gold

6 days ago - 04 December 2019 | Economics

Khalid Abdelaziz, Michael Georgy and Maha El Dahan - Late last year, as former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir's hold on power weakened, one of Sudan's...

Zimbabweans grow more despondent

2 weeks ago - 20 November 2019 | Economics

Fanuel JongweTwo years ago, Linos Mutepera was among hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who celebrated the toppling of long-time ruler Robert Mugabe with tears of...

Many pitfalls in reform of Africa's CFA franc

2 weeks ago - 20 November 2019 | Economics

Pierre Donadieu and David Esnault - Calls to overhaul the West African CFA franc, a currency tied to the euro and historically rooted in French...

Fact file

2 weeks ago - 20 November 2019 | Economics

The CFA franc, a seven-decade-old currency shared by more than a dozen states in West Africa, has found itself in the spotlight over calls for...

Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa likely to re-boot China ties

2 weeks ago - 20 November 2019 | Economics

Simon Sturdee - The unfinished, purple-headed Lotus Tower soars uselessly into the Colombo sky, mired in corruption allegations - a project typical of China's misadventures...

Inflation slows down further

3 weeks ago - 14 November 2019 | Economics

Annual overall inflation in Namibia last month was 3.0%, down from 3.3% in September and 5.1% a year ago.Data released by the Namibia Statistics Agency...

Latest News

Debts, joblessness fuel latest rating...

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Economics

Rating agency Moody's downgraded Namibia's economy on Friday to a Ba2 rating but changed the outlook to stable, citing among other things rising government debt...

By-elections galore in January

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Politics

Four by-elections are scheduled to take place on 15 January in constituencies vacated by councillors who resigned because of the enforcement of Article 47 of...

Geingob 'oblivious' to corruption

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Government

If President Hage Geingob does not realise how endemic corruption is in Namibia and what role it played in the humiliation decline of his and...

Trivialising corruption

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Opinion

President Hage Geingob's defensive stance on corruption – capped by his remark on Friday that the problem is not systemic – cannot go unchallenged.For a...

Winning the fight against measles

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Health

Over the past decade there has been a drastic decline in measles cases in Namibia, dropping from 1 815 to only 16 confirmed cases this...

What a year

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

As I write my last column for 2019, I would like to reflect on what I feel was good and bad this year in the...

Ashikoto hopes for better 2020

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

JESSE JACKSON KAURAISA Power-Power Development and Boxing Academy promoter Risto Ashikoto says he hopes for a better...

Javier Mascherano unveiled as Estudiantes...

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

NAMPA/XINHUA Javier Mascherano said Saturday that he feels motivated and ready to return to Argentinian football after his official unveiling as...

Go all out for Olympic...

1 day - 09 December 2019 | Sports

NAMPA/XINHUA ...

Load More