Zambia: 'Embrace China'

Photo: IMF/Stephen Jaffe
AllAfrica's Charlayne Hunter-Gault meets up with IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn in Johannesburg.

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that Zambia and the rest of Africa should accept investment and aid from China for the country and continent's economy to grow at a faster rate.

IMF managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said during the 'Africa Economic Transformation' discussion with civil society organisations, students and the youth that Zambia and the rest of Africa should accept investment and assistance from China, currently regarded as one of the biggest economies.

"Loans by international institutions and even the IMF to other countries are welcome. One big country, China is willing to provide resources to Africa. Do you think this investment from China is welcome? In my opinion I think that this investment from China is welcome" Mr Strauss -Kahn said.

He said each country should accept investment from any country for as long as the benchmarks set were acceptable to the government of that country and the citizens.

With regards to the IMF relaxing its conditions, Mr Strauss-Khan said the international financial institution was currently streamlining its benchmarks.

He, however, said there was no way the conditions would be made flexible saying if such was the case, the countries helped by the IMF would again fall into the similar economic malaise that led to the particular country to seek assistance.

He said the IMF was streamlining its conditions but emphasised such benchmarks were important to ensure that countries receiving aid exhibited fiscal discipline.

In the past, he said, many governments considered the IMF to be harmful to their respective economies, arguing that such was not the case.

"I do not think it will be possible to get aid without conditions. You have a need and there is trouble, when there is no trouble you cannot ask for aid. We are saying we will assist you but we want you to correct why you were in trouble. It's like a doctor, when you receive help and do not change your behaviour the problem will reccur," Mr Strauss-Kahn said.

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