Okonjo-Iweala Appointed as Member of IMF External Advisory Group

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Ngozi Okonjo Iweala

By Obinna Chima

The Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, has appointed Nigeria’s two-term Minister of Finance and former Managing Director (Operations) of the World Bank, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to serve as a member of her newly established External Advisory Group.

The appointment came about a month after South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, appointed her into the country’s Economic Advisory Council, in response to the challenges the economy which recently slumped into its second recession in two years, was facing.

According to a statement on the IMF’s website, Okonjo-Iweala, who is the Board Chairperson of GAVI Alliance, was appointed among other eminent persons from around the world, drawn from their high-level policy, market, and private sector experience.

The statement revealed that Georgieva Friday convened the new external advisory group to provide perspectives from around the globe on key developments and policy issues, including policy responses to the exceptional challenges the world now faces due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and its economic impact.

They are also expected to provide insights to enhance the Fund’s ability to serve its membership.

The External Advisory Group would meet a few times a year with the IMF’s Managing Director, Deputy Managing Directors, and a sub-set of IMF department Directors.

“Even before the spread of Covid-19 and the dramatic health, economic, and financial disruptions it has brought, IMF members confronted a rapidly evolving world and complex policy issues,” Georgieva said.

She added: “To serve our membership well in this context, we need top-notch input and expertise from the widest range of sources, inside and outside the Fund.

“Toward this end, I am proud that an exceptional and diverse group of eminent individuals with high-level policy, market, and private sector experience has agreed to serve on my External Advisory Group. Today we had a dynamic discussion to gain their insights, and to receive informal reactions to our ideas and approaches.”

The other members of the Advisory Group are: Mr. Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Senior Minister of Singapore and Chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; Ms. Kristin Forbes, Professor, Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Mr. Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia; Lord Mark Malloch Brown, former United Nations Deputy Secretary-General; Mr. Feike Sijbesima, Honorary Chair, DSM, Former CEO, Royal DSM; Mr. Raghuram Rajan, Professor, University of Chicago and Ms. Ana Botín, Group Executive Chairman, Santander.

In addition, the Advisory Group is made up of: Ms. Carmen Reinhart, Professor, Harvard University; Mr. Mohamed A. El-Erian, Chief Economic Adviser, Allianz; Mr. Scott Minerd, Chief Investment Officer, Guggenheim Investments, and Ms. Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Chair of ActionAid International.