The Gambia office of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Friday convened a daylong seminar meant to interact with members of the fourth estate about the role of the 188-member global financial organisation and how best it can partner with the media in disseminating accurate information for the consumption of the general public.
Held at the IMF's office at the UN House in Cape Point, Bakau, the interface availed journalists from both print and electronic media the opportunity to have a deeper understanding of the role of IMF, especially its stance in promoting economic stability of member countries, amongst others. Journalists were also exposed to IMF's relations with The Gambia, which dates back to 1967 and how it helps the country accelerate economic progress for employment creation and sustainable development.
In his brief opening statement, the IMF resident representative, Gaston K. Mpatswe, said the aim of the seminar was to interact with journalists about the role of this global institution and to also explain some economic languages for simpler understanding to enhance accurate reporting in future.
"The IMF's primary purpose is to ensure the stability of the international monetary system - the system of exchange rates and international payments that enables countries and their citizens to transact with each other," he underlined. Mpatswe underscored that such is essential for promoting sustainable growth, increasing living standards and reducing poverty. He disclosed that the institution that was created in 1945 is accountable to the 188 countries that make up its global membership.
The IMF local boss, who took journalists through a host of other issues, also used the opportunity to explain the difference between IMF and the World Bank. These two institutions, he noted, were created on the same day but with different complementary mandates. The IMF, he explained, focuses on macroeconomic stability issues whereas the World Bank concentrates on long-term economic development and poverty reduction.