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IMF hails Sub-Saharan countries for quick recovery from global economic slump

31 March 2014, 08:30

Nairobi - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday hailed Sub-Saharan African countries for their quick recovery from the 2008/2009 global economic crunch, compared to other countries across the globe.

Sukhwinder Singh, coordinator of IMF's Regional Technical Assistance Center for East Africa (East AFRITAC), said SSA countries picked up much faster than the rest of the world.

"This is a very recommendable achievement," Singh said. "This has been caused by strong and good financial policies which are in place. And this was a very unique experience on the side of Africa, as in the past, countries were highly affected by the past global crisis."

"There are lots of changes in the past three decades in Africa and these changes have been contributed by improvement in human capacity building as well as better regulatory framework in the finance sector," Singh said.

Citing some examples, the official said in East Africa growth remained strong, averaging 5.7 percent despite the global slowdown.

He said IMF through the East AFRITAC has been working in seven countries - Tanzania, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Uganda, and Rwanda.

"The idea of establishing the center is to work close with those countries by providing them with technical skills and knowledge on how to improve tax collections horizons in their respective countries," he said.

Based in Tanzania's commercial capital Dar es Salaam, East AFRITAC provides capacity building assistance in core areas of expertise of the IMF such as revenue administration, public financial management, micro-fiscal analysis, financial sector regulation, monetary policy and operations, and economic and financial statistics.

Addressing the 16th Steering Committee meeting, Deputy Governor of the Tanzania Bank of Tanzania (BoT) Juma Reli praised East AFRITAC for technical assistance which was of high quality, relevant and strongly owned by its member countries.

He emphasized the importance of peer-to-peer learning and encouraged the fund to explore further ways it can foster this among the sub-Saharan African countries.

"But, there are new challenges too, such as in areas of regional integration and the effective management of natural resources, where further effective contributions from the center in collaboration with the IMF will be critical," he said.

He also commended IMF for embracing the East African Community' s secretariat in its programs.

"This is a good endeavor as the move can help in capacity building as the region get into developing the East African Monetary Institute in a view of enabling the EAC member countries achieve convergence criterion desirable for monetary union, single currency and ultimately political federation," he said.

- Xinhua

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