Technically, no state is obliged to obey the IMF. Similarly, no individual is obliged to undergo chemotherapy… unless he or she really needs it. This is the fundamental dilemma of “this important but unloved institution”, in the words of economist Dani Rodrik, a famous critic of the organisation created in 1945 to “ensure the stability of the global financial system”.
Unlike the World Bank, the IMF is not a development aid or anti-poverty organisation. Its mission is to anticipate financial crises and intervene alongside states facing a rapid deterioration of their external financial and trade position, a deterioration of their foreign exchange reserves and increased monetary and banking instability.
“Under its Articles of Agreement, the IMF can provide its general resources only with adequate safeguards and only to help members resolve their balance of payments problems. Debt
There's more to this story
Get unlimited access to our exclusive journalism and features today. Our award-winning team of correspondents and editors report from over 54 African countries, from Cape Town to Cairo, from Abidjan to Abuja to Addis Ababa. Africa. Unlocked.
Already a a subscriber Sign In
Also in this in Depth:
leverage acceleratorAfDB tackles climate change at annual meeting in Sharm al-Sheikh More than 4,000 people have travelled to Egypt to attend the 58th Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 49th Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Fund, both of which are currently underway. On the agenda: climate change.
Electric shockSouth Africa prepares for the worst in load shedding It only took one statement to bring South Africa’s Eskom shares into the red. On Thursday, 18 May, Calib Cassim, acting CEO of the publicly-run national power company, warned the public that a “very difficult” winter was to be expected, with load shedding reaching stage 8.
money mattersAfrican Debt: Three proposals to reform the SDR system Hanan Morsy, Deputy Executive Secretary and Chief Economist of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), shares insights on new proposals to reform the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Special Drawing Rights (SDR) allocation system.