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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

“There is no end in sight to the misuse of power by those in public office—and corruption levels are perceived to be as high as ever in both the developed and developing worlds,” said Peter Eigen, Chair of Transparency International, speaking at a Paris press conference in June to launch the nonprofit organization’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2001. “There is a worldwide corruption crisis,” he continued, “and that is the clear message from the Corruption Perceptions Index 2001, which reflects the degree to which corruption is perceived to exist among public officials and politicians. Scores of less than 5 out of a clean score of 10 are registered by countries on every continent, including members of the Organization of American States and the European Union.”

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Amid blaring headlines on Iraq, war, and reconstruction, several African finance ministers and a central bank governor held a press briefing on April 11 in Washington to remind the world that their continent’s needs required urgent and continued attention. Charles Konan Banny (Governor of the Central Bank of West African States), Benjamin Radavidson (Madagascar), Timothy T. Thahane (Lesotho), Joseph B. Dauda (Sierra Leone), and Gerald M. Ssendaula (Uganda) reported on progress with the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), highlighted pressing issues, among them market access, meeting the UN’s Millennium Development Goals, and debt relief. They appealed to donors to attend to Afghani and Iraqi needs but not withdraw support for Africa’s determined effort to reduce poverty.

International Monetary Fund

This paper reviews the progress report on implementation of the National Strategy for Socio-Economic Development (NSSED) during 2004 in Albania. The NSSED established a multiyear plan to combat poverty and strengthen governance. The main implication of the Integrated Planning System for the NSSED is that it will evolve into a comprehensive strategic planning framework. Its focus will accordingly shift toward medium to long-term planning, ensuring that a coherent, costed, mutually consistent sector and cross-cutting strategies are developed that serve as the policy basis for the annual Medium-Term Budget Program process.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

At the African Union summit in Maputo, Mozambique, in July and the IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings in Dubai in late September, African leaders underscored their commitment to sound policies and good governance but expressed strong frustration with donor countries’ slowness in keeping up their end of the bargain. Abdoulaye Bio-Tchané, who has headed the IMF’s African Department for the past two years after serving as Benin’s Minister of Finance and Economy, talks with Laura Wallace about what he sees as the biggest stumbling blocks to ensuring a better future for the African continent.

International Monetary Fund

The staff report for the 2005 Article IV Consultation on Botswana highlights key issues, recent developments, and policy discussions. The authorities are strengthening their structural reform agenda and moving ahead with sector-specific development programs with a view to sustaining annual growth in the 5–6 percent range as targeted in their current medium-term development plan. The authorities recognized the importance of fiscal adjustment to maintaining macroeconomic stability. They have no plans to move away from the exchange rate peg in the near term, but are exploring their options with regard to the monetary policy framework.