Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has urged Botswana to “rethink growth strategies and move forward with bold complementary reforms that could facilitate their transition to high-income status”.
Zhu who is currently in Botswana to participate in regional conferences jointly organised by the IMF was delivering the keynote address at Gaborone International Convention Centre in Gaborone on Friday 29th.
The renowned economist engaged with policy makers and other stakeholders to strengthen the IMF’s engagement with Botswana.
In his speech themed: “SMICs: Taking Development to the Next Level”, Zhu said although significant progress in terms of maintaining macroeconomic stability and sustaining high growth over the past two decades has been made, there is still need to “to rethink growth strategies and move forward with bold complementary reforms that could facilitate their transition to high-income status”.
“The IMF remains closely engaged with SMICs in Sub-Saharan Africa through policy dialogue, technical assistance, and analytical work”. He also said IMF will continue to collaborate closely with Botswana in order to strengthen the analytical underpinnings of their policies and rethink their growth strategies.
In recent years, small middle-income countries (SMICs) in sub-Saharan Africa have enjoyed stronger growth and economic development than most other countries in the region. More recently, however, a number of external developments have led to headwinds and a slowdown in economic activity. As a result, SMICs in the region need to adjust their policies to preserve stability and restore growth, while at the same time decide on the structural reforms that would set the basis for long-term growth and transition to high-income status.
According to a statement from the IMF, “The conference spoke to the main challenges that SMICs in sub-Saharan Africa are faced with, and the policies required to confront the challenges effectively in order to facilitate their transition to high-income status”.
Participants at the conference included central bank governors, ministers and other senior officials from a number of countries including Mauritius, New Zealand and Swaziland.
Zhu arrived in Botswana on January 26th and met with President Ian Khama, senior government officials, and representatives of civil society and the private sector. He is expected to depart for Ghana today (January 31st) where he will meet with President John Mahama and other senior leaders, along with business leaders, economists, and representatives of civil society. He will also deliver a keynote speech at a conference on the value of Enhanced Data for Better Macro-Policies in Africa before heading to his base on February 2nd.