Wednesday, April 18, 2012

(LUSAKATIMES) Minister of Finance Alex Chikwanda in Washington for joint IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings

COMMENT - Just another IMF/World Bank sellout. This is why Africa does not develop for the benefit of it's own people - it's finance ministers are the lackeys and often lifelong employees of the IMF and the World Bank. Nigeria's FM was an MD at the World Bank for years. I wonder where she will go back to when her term in government is up.

Minister of Finance Alex Chikwanda in Washington for joint IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings
TIME PUBLISHED - Wednesday, April 18, 2012, 5:51 pm

Minister of Finance and National Planning, Mr. Alexander B Chikwanda arrived in Washington DC as head of a Zambian delegation to the 2012 IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings.

Also attending the meetings is the Bank of Zambia Governor Dr. Michael Gondwe and other officials from the Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance that includes the Secretary to the Treausry Mr. Fredson Yamba.

According to a programme availed to the Embassy of the Republic of Zambia in Washington DC, Finance Minister Alexander B Chikwanda and his delegation will hold meetings with the management of the IMF and the World Bank such as the Vice President for the Africa Region, Ms. Obiageli Ezekwesili, the World Bank Executive Director Mr. Hassan Taha and the International Monetary Fund(IMF) Director of the African Department Ms. Antoinette Monsio Sayeh to discuss recent economic developments in Zambia, as well as areas where the two institutions can assist in the achievement of Zambia’s development agenda.

Mr. Chikwanda will also meet with the Executive Vice President and CEO of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Mr. Lars Thunell to discuss IFC work programme in Zambia and future assistance. Last December, IFC assured Zambia that it would continue supporting the country’s investment climate reforms and was committed to supporting the new PF government consolidate positive gains already realized.

[The International Finance Corporation is "the private sector arm of the World Bank Group". - MrK]

Another meeting is scheduled between the Minister and the President of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Mr. Daniel W. Yohannes. The MCC recently approved a US$354.8 million Compact with Zambia designed to increase Lusaka’s overall water supply, extend and improve select water supply, sanitation and drainage networks.

[Question: how is all of this going to be repaid without increased tax collection from the mining sector? - MrK]

The compact also aims to decrease flooding and provide Lusaka residents greater access to water and better water supply, sanitation and drainage services. It also provides technical assistance to ensure women and vulnerable populations benefit from project investments.

As part of the Spring Meetings, the Zambian delegation will participate in different seminars and briefings that have been lined up through to the end of the meetings. One interesting meeting will be on “Mining Tax Regime Meeting: Case Study on Zambia” with Prof Conrad from IGC.

Speakers at the various seminars and briefings include a Press Briefing on the “Global Financial Stability Report “ (GFSR) by Mr. Jose Vinals who is the the Financial Counselor and Director of the IMF’s Monetary and Capital Markets.

Two other documents, the “World Economic Outlook” (WEO) and “Fiscal Monitor Report” will be presented by Mr. Oliver Blanchard, IMF Economic Counselor and Director of Research Department and by Carlo Cottarelli, Director of the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department.

Zambia will also participate in a seminar entitled “The Rise of Social Safety Nets in Africa” which will bring together policy makers, practitioners, civil society representatives, development partners and Bank Management to review social protection success stories in Africa and elsewhere, the challenges that remain in the development of appropriate safety nets in Africa, the evidence base that safety net programmes help reduce chronic poverty and develop human capital and the key messages from the new Africa Region Social Protection Strategy.

IMF Managing Director, Christine Lagarde and outgoing World Bank President Robert Zoellick will also participate in Press briefings during the course of the meetings.

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