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World Bank and IMF focus on African prosperity at annual meeting

The World Bank and International Monetary Fund are holding their annual meeting in Marrakech, Morocco. 10/2023   -  
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At the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, being held this week in Marrakech, Morocco, the two institutions have said they want to focus on African prosperity.

"A prosperous 21st century is only possible with a prosperous Africa," said Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the IMF. 

The world's most powerful economic policymakers are meeting in Africa for the first time in fifty years to discuss the growth and stability of the global economy at a time of war, inequality and climate change.

In data published Tuesday, the IMF said it has maintained its growth forecasts at 3% for the world economy in 2023, despite signs of weakness in several of the major economies. 

It expects growth to be only slightly weaker in 2024, at 2.9%, down slightly (-0.1 percentage points) on its previous estimate, published in July. 

Often lenders of last resort, the IMF and the World Bank use billions in loans and assistance to buoy struggling economies and encourage countries operating in deficit to implement reforms they say promote stability and growth.

But critics - including officials from throughout Africa - have said policies that deny economies access to credit and loans in the absence of balanced budgets often require governments to make impossible choices, including tax reform or making cuts to subsidies for food or energy.

Africa is also among the places most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, with critics calling on the World Bank and IMF to increasingly factor climate resiliency into its decision-making.

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