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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Following are edited excerpts from a press conference given on April 20 by a group of African finance ministers and central bank governors. The IMF’s External Relations Department has been organizing press conferences with African ministers of finance over the past four years during its spring and Annual Meetings to give African member countries’ representatives the opportunity to express their views on issues of interest to their countries. The ministers also met with the heads of the IMF and the World Bank. Participating in the press briefing were Daudi Ballali, Governor of the Central Bank of Tanzania; Paul Bouabre, Minister of Finance for Côte d’lvoire; Emmanuel Kasonde, Minister of Finance for Zambia; Yaw Osafo-Maafo, Minister of Finance and Economy for Ghana; and Jean-Claude Masangu Mulongo, Governor of the Central Bank of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Klaus Enders

Growth in Egypt has picked up steadily since 2004 (see chart), making it one of the Middle East's fastest growing economies. Egypt launched bold reforms in 2004 that, along with a favorable external environment, have triggered an impressive acceleration of growth, to 7 percent in 2006/07.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The gross amount of money the IMF has available for lending minus money that has been committed, but not yet paid out, under existing loan programs with member countries.

Mr. Marcello Caiola

THIS PAPER presents the available information on the transactions of the U.S.S.R. with the countries of the Soviet area1 and with the rest of the world during 1959-60. It is a continuation of a study published in the March 1962 issue of Staff Papers,2 which covered Soviet international transactions for 1955-58. The presentation and methods of estimation used here are the same as those employed in the previous paper, where they are described in more detail. All the figures in this paper are in U.S. dollars. On January 1, 1961, the par value rate of the ruble was modified from 1 old ruble = US$0.25 to 1 new ruble = US$1.11. Ruble figures shown in U.S.S.R. sources published after January 1, 1961 are expressed at the new rate, and for the purpose of this paper they have been converted into U.S. dollars at that rate.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

This paper highlights that 1976 was an important year for the IMF. With the end of 1976, the IMF closed its books on a year of virtually unprecedented activity. It launched the New Year with a US$3.9 billion stand-by arrangement for the United Kingdom, the largest ever made for a member country. The outlook at the beginning of 1977 suggests another busy year ahead for the IMF. The proposed second amendment to the IMF’s Articles of Agreement and the increase in members’ quotas are expected to go into effect before the end of the year.

Mr. Jeremy Clift

This paper highlights that the Washington Consensus helped fill the need for an economic policy framework following the discrediting of central planning and import-substitution trade strategies. Latin American governments championed the Consensus in the early 1990s, and the policy agenda delivered some of the things it was supposed to—healthier budgets, lower inflation, lower external debt ratios, and economic growth. But unemployment rose in many countries and poverty remained widespread, while the emphasis on market openness made states vulnerable to the side effects of globalization.