Abidjan — IMF Managing Director Ms Christine Lagarde in Abidjan on Wednesday said sub-Sahara was among the fastest growing regions in the world.
She, however, said that the development had not been even. In her concluding remarks to newsmen after a three-day visit to Cote d'Ivoire, Lagarde said: "My visits to Côte d'Ivoire and Malawi this week have been a unique opportunity to discuss broader issues.
"Despite the global headwinds, Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the fastest growing regions of the world. "Still, growth needs to be more inclusive to respond to the needs of the people, especially women and youth.
"The IMF is playing its part. We have stepped up our assistance to the region. We now have four regional technical assistance centers (AFRITACs), including the one reopened here in Abidjan yesterday."
According to her, a fifth AFRITAC would be opened in 2013 in Ghana. She said that the IMF Executive Board had recently decided to keep at zero interest rate all concessional loans for two years.
"Earlier this year, the Board decided to allocate the remaining windfall profits from gold sales to the IMF resources earmarked for low-income countries. "We are committed to support our poorest members and will continue to work with our partners to achieve this goal."
On economic recovery for Cote d'Ivoire, Lagarde said that the country had made strong gains since 2011 after the political crisis.
"I complimented the authorities on the country's strong economic recovery, which the IMF is supporting through a three-year 615.9 million dollar Extended Credit Facility (about CFA 300 billion) at zero interest rate.
"I welcomed their ambitious National Development Plan for 2012 to 2015, which should stimulate public investment, boost growth performance, and create job opportunities."
She said that private investment would also be key, which would require a significant improvement in the business climate.
She said that progress in structural forms and the cocoa sector was also encouraging. During her visit, Lagarde addressed the Ivorian National Assembly, met with the civil society and women groups and visited an orphanage. (NAN)