Nduka Nwosu in New York
The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, is leading the pack of three other distinguished Nigerian technocrats billed to speak during the Spring meeting of the IMF/World Bank, which kick started Monday in Washington DC.
Adeosun, who is expected to address the media on the state of the Nigerian economy at the end of the meeting, would tomorrow join a group billed to discuss the topic: ‘Sub-Saharan Africa Just a Rough Patch,’ moderated by Nancy Birdsall, the founding president of the Centre for Global Development and former Executive Vice President of the Inter-American Development Bank, where she oversaw a $30 billion public and private loan portfolio.
The Nigerian minister and two other panelists, Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director, IMF and Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Minister of Finance would be confronted with the issues surrounding the slump in commodity prices, tighter global financing conditions, and meagre policy buffers, as well as economic growth in the sub-Saharan Africa, a situation which the IMF said “has weakened markedly to 3½ per cent 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,” says the MF.
The minister of finance and her two other panelists are therefore expected to 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?
Former Minister of Finance, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, would join the IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, to address the topic: ‘Low-Income Developing Countries: Conference on Sustainable Economic Development in a Challenging Global Environment.
According to the synopsis, “After a decade of sustained growth, low-income and developing countries have slowed sharply since 2015, reflecting the confluence of a weakened external environment and domestic macroeconomic imbalances.”
After the opening remarks by Lagarde with keynote address by former US Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, now Professor of Economics, Harvard University, Okonjo-Iweala, former Nigerian Minister of Finance, will be joined by Asli Demirguc-Kunt, to address the issue of inequality, growth and resilience.
Vice President and Treasurer of the World Bank Group Aruma Oteh will also be in the panel of discussants addressing the issue of “Innovative Financial Solutions for Today’s Development Challenges,” with Alan Gelb, Senior Fellow and Director of Studies, Center for Global Development and Mark Lowclock, Permanent Secretary, Department for International Development, United Kingdom, Sahar Nasr, Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation, as well as Kyle Peters, Senior Vice President, Operations, World Bank Group.
President African Development Bank (AfDB), Akinwunmi Adesina will also address the topic: ‘Future of Food: Why Healthy, Safe and Sustainable Food is a Basic Necessity.’