Maputo — Economic growth is certainly a reality in much of Africa, “but the real question is to ensure that this growth is inclusive and sustainable”, declared the general director of the International Monetary fund (IMF), Christine Lagarde, in Maputo on Friday.
Speaking to the press, at the end of an international conference on “Africa Rising: Building for the Future”, organised by the IMF and the Mozambican government, she stressed that Africa needs to invest in infrastructure, institutions and human capital,
She declared that the IMF thought it very important to form a partnership with Africa. “We listened to each other and we learnt”, she said. “The IMF is not a patronizing institution, it is a partnership institution”.
“I am leaving this conference strongly energized about our partnership with Africa”, she declared. “We have changed our financial instruments to ensure that they are more flexible”. She believed that some of the criticism of the IMF referred to earlier periods, when the mechanisms the Fund uses today “did not exist”.
Asked about corruption, Lagarde described it as “a two way street - one party corrupts and the other receives. This has to be tackled at both ends”.
She believed that some large corporations are “very mindful” about corruption, but smaller enterprises are not. “Corruption corrodes the fabric of society”, she warned.
Her host, Mozambican Finance Minister Manuel Chang stressed the importance of clear legislation and rules in the fight against corruption, to ensure that citizens know exactly what they are supposed to pay for services, and to avoid discretionary charges.