With the of demise of the Managing Director of IMF, Dominique Strauss-Kahn
who has just resigned his position due to alleged sexual rape, the
momentum is gathering for the job opening to be filled.
This time around
the Brentwood institute that has always European and American boss may be
willing to widen its scope of its applicants. Emerging nations are asking
that the position of managing director to be filled by one of them. The
time has come to give an African a chance to lead the organization at the
dawn of 21st century.
IMF in real sense of it should be catering essentially to emerging nations
with weak but promising financial wellbeing. “After World War II, the
World Bank was established to provide long-term financial and technical
assistance to developing countries, and the IMF was created to manage a
system of fixed exchange rates. Essentially, the dollar was pegged to gold
and other currencies to the dollar. The Americans got the head of the
World Bank and the Europeans the IMF,” as Professor Peter Morici assured.
The 67-year institute has always been dominated by European chiefs because
of the clout the European nations enjoyed. But the developing and emerging
nations are gradually accumulating power due to their increasing numbers
that are tantamount to larger voting numbers. At same time the bulging GDP
and economic growth of emerging nations including China, India, Brazil,
South Africa, Nigeria and others are pretty impressive.
African nations including emerging and developing nations grip on IMF are
getting stronger. According to Dr. Jason Wingard, Wharton school of the
University of Pennsylvania “Based on IMF statistics, voting blocks are
changing -- largely due to economic shifts in global production. For
instance, the European Union's voting block percentage for its 27 member
countries will drop from 32.4% to 29.4% after post-2010 reforms.
Developing countries will have a combined voting block that is almost 8%
larger than European nations. If the next managing director is elected
rather than appointed, over two-thirds of post-2010 reform votes will be
cast by non-European Union countries' representatives.”
This is a good sign which bodes well for global financial and economic
integration. It shows that in the changing world that developing and
emerging nations will have a say in making of monetary and economic
decision that effect the entire global village. With the rising and ever
increasing power of China and India it is logical that a house of IMF is
rearrange and has them and others accommodated.
IMF a lender of last resort mostly caters to developing nations of
southern hemisphere and has a stronghold in Africa due to increasing
integration of the continent to global economy as its share of global
economic activities gets stronger and bigger with increasing GDP.
Economically, Africa is the fastest growing landscape at above 5 percent.
The economic outlook for Africa is encouraging and on its recent report
IMF states that, “Sub-Saharan Africa’s recovery from the crisis-induced
slowdown is well under way, with growth in most countries now back fairly
close to the high levels of the mid-2000s. Growth this year is expected to
average 5½ percent, and 6 percent in 2012. “
To encourage the continent of Africa for its economic gains and progress
is to have Africa produce the managing director of IMF at this point in
time. An African leading the powerful institute is a sign that world is
serious of bringing in Africans at the table where big deals and
decisions are made.
It is not a news anymore neither it is a secret that Africans were not
happy with application of the pre-lending requirements before funds were
released to the nations of Africa. The criterion that comes with
austerity measures embedded in structural adjustment program sapped and
arrested African economic development in 1980s and 1990s. The position of
IMF boss for Africa will be a compensation and recognition of African
endeavor to overcome past mistakes by IMF in Africa.
One great thing of having an African as an IMF chief is that its
neutrality in dealing with China and the West will be good for the global
economy. The issues of trade deficits, currency assessment and debts will
be deliberated with an African in neutrality.
Emeka Chiakwelu is the principal Policy Strategist at Afripol. Africa
Political and Economic Strategic Center (Afripol) is foremost a public
policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of
public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free
enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights,
conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa.
http://afripol.org/ [email protected]