Africa: Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva's Statement On the Summit of the Heads of State of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (Cemac)

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Washington, DC: Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Washington DC after her virtual participation in a Heads of State of Central Africa summit:

"Exchanges during today's summit have been very fruitful. We discussed the economic impact of the pandemic on the six countries of the Central African Economic and Monetary Community (CEMAC). Last year the health crisis, combined with an ensuing decline in oil prices and security issues, led to a deep recession and imposed a heavy toll on the region, weakening the countries' fiscal positions and depleting external reserves. In response the IMF provided unprecedented emergency financial support and continues to work with the CEMAC countries to help them overcome the tremendous challenges they face."

"I emphasized that closely coordinated macroeconomic policies among all six countries and regional institutions are necessary to bolster CEMAC's external and internal stability in the short term, and help the region emerge stronger from the crisis in the period ahead. I also stressed that CEMAC needs to continue fighting the health crisis and accelerate the vaccination campaign to ensure a sustainable recovery. The upcoming allocation of Special Drawing Rights should be used prudently and transparently. I recommended devoting it to address urgent needs and reserve build-up."

"Today's discussions also focused on the need to push forward the regional reform agenda to help create job opportunities for the rapidly growing labor force and improve living standards. I welcome the commitment of CEMAC Heads of State to deep structural reforms to radically transform and diversify the region, continue to support regional institutions and reduce its dependence on commodities. Enhancing transparency in public finances and in the oil and gas sector, strengthening revenue mobilization, supporting strong governance, and implementing business-friendly reforms will be particularly important.

"I would like to sincerely thank President Paul Biya for organizing the Summit in his capacity of CEMAC President, and all CEMAC Heads of State for the constructive dialogue . The IMF remains CEMAC's partner in meeting its economic challenge s, working closely with all governments and regional institutions."

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