Tuesday, 8th April, 2019
Minister of Finance MARGARET
MWANAKATWE has arrived in Washington DC, United States of America, for the 2019 Spring Meetings of the IMF and the World Bank. She was met on arrival at Washington’s Dulles International Airport by Zambia’s Ambassador to the United States, Dr. Ngosa Simbyakula.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Mwanakatwe has accepted an invitation by the IMF to address a high-level IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings panel event at which she will be expected to share information on Zambia’s journey in balancing debt vulnerabilities and development needs in the country’s quest to elevate economic growth and meet sustainable development goals.
The Minister will also take the opportunity of being in Washington to honour invitations by the international community to address elite investors’ and business forums separately organized by Standard Chartered Bank, Barclays Bank, and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for investors from the Asia, Canada, Europe, Middle-East, and the United States of America. She is also scheduled to attend the launch of the IMF Regional Economic Outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa, and will be joined at the event by Minister of National Development Planning, ALEXANDER CHITEME, who is expected to arrive in Washington today.
Addressing the delegation prior to today’s meeting, Mrs. Mwanakatwe urged the team to be at their best and to represent the country well. She requested the team to endeavor to send messages that are consistent with the country’s positive ambitions and aspirations aimed at making Zambia a prosperous middle income nation where no one will be left behind.
Apart from the two Ministers, the other members of the high-level Zambian delegation are Secretary to the Treasury FREDSON YAMBA, Deputy Secretary to the Cabinet [Finance and Economic Development] CHRISTOPHER MVUNGA, and Bank of Zambia Governor Dr. DENNY KALYALYA.
The rest are Ministry of Development Planning Permanent Secretary CHOLA CHABALA, Ministry of Finance Permanent Secretary for Economic Management and Finance MUKULI CHIKUBA, Zambia Revenue Authority Commissioner General KINGSLEY CHANDA, and Zambia Integrated Forestry Landscape Project Coordinator, Dr. TASILA BANDA.
At the 2019 Spring Meetings, the delegation will attend and participate in events, meetings, seminars and sessions of both the International Monetary Fund [IMF] and the World Bank Group. For clarity, the World Bank Group comprises the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development [IBRD], International Development Association [IDA], International Finance Corporation[IFC], and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency [MIGA].
The delegation will also attend the International Monetary and Financial Committee [IMFC]; the highest ranking organ of the IMF. It comprises the IMF Board of Governors [Ministers of Finance and Governors of the Central Bank from 189 member states] and the Executive Board of the IMF. The team will also attend the IMF Africa Group 1 Constituency Meeting and the African Consultative Group (ACG) Meeting with the IMF Managing Director. Meetings with the Director of the IMF Africa Department, ABEBE SELASSIE, and the IMF Executive Director for Zambia DUMISANI MAHLINZA are also planned, at which discussions will boarder on developments in the economy and the upcoming Article IV Consultation Mission to Zambia.
In addition, the delegation will hold discussions with the IMF Fiscal Affairs Department to explore capacity building prospects in big data analytics, statistical techniques, development of tax revenue forecasting models, cost assessment of tax incentives, and collectability analysis of accumulated debt stock.
Further, Minister MWANAKATWE and Minister CHITEME are scheduled to attend the World Bank Development Committee Meeting; the bank’s highest level event at the Washington meetings.The delegation will also meet the World Bank Africa Region Vice President HAFEZ GHANEM, World Bank MIGA Vice President, VIJAY IYER, and World Bank Country Director, PAUL NOUMBA UM, to evaluate the performance of matters related to their separate mandates such as the country portfolio, the macroeconomic situation, the country partnership framework, the partial risk guarantee, and the structural reforms outlined in Zambia’s Economic Stabilisation and Growth Programme.
The delegation will also attend the World Bank Africa Group 1 Constituency Meeting and hold a bilateral meeting with the new World Bank Group Executive Director for Africa Group 1 Constituency, ANNE KABAGAMBE. The aim of the meeting is to look at the bank’s country portfolio performance and representation in the constituency office.
A meeting with the World Bank International Finance Corporation Africa Management Team will also be held to exchange information and on the organisations operations and planned activities in Zambia.
On the sidelines of the 2019 Spring Meetings, the delegation will also attend the Governors Consultative Council of the African Development Bank and the third consultative meeting of the Southern African Development Community [SADC] Ministers of Finance and the President of the African Development Bank [AfDB]. The event is aimed at examining proposals for the AfDB’s general capital increase and assessing the Bank’s activities and lending operations in the SADC region. Further, the AfDB Africa Group One Constituency Meeting for Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius and Zambia will be convened to discuss the AfDB General Capital Increase and arrive at a constituency position on the matter.
As part of their schedule at the Spring Meetings, the Zambian delegation will hold bilateral meetings with other development partners and attend events of other international organisations with a bias towards economics, finance, development, tax and monetary affairs.
The planned bilateral events are with the Japanese International Corporation Agency [JICA], the United Kingdom Department for International Development [DFID], Africa Export Import Bank [Afriexim], Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs. Other meetings to be held are with the Africa Capacity Building Foundation [ACBF], the Center for Global Development.
The delegations engagements will extend to dialogues with Fitch, Standard and Poor’s, and Moody’s Rating Agencies. At these meetings, the parties will be looking at Zambia’s macroeconomic situation, fiscal affairs, debt matters, and foreign reserves, among other issues.
*MINISTRY OF FINANCE*