IMF Inspired: Generation Z - Finding its Voice


DATE: October 15, 2019

DAY: Tuesday

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

LOCATION: IMF HQ1, Meetings Halls A&B (HQ1-3-430 A&B)

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#IMFInspired is proud to host Natasha Mwansa, a leading advocate for youth and women in Africa. Join us to discuss the issues affecting Generation Z: child marriage, access to health and education, and climate change.

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IMF Inspired: Generation Z - Finding its Voice

Natasha Mwansa, an 18-year-old advocate for youth and women, recounted her personal journey to activism. Ms. Mwansa described the numerous challenges facing her generation in Africa, her work at a local health clinic, and her experience overcoming bullying. She called on policymakers to more proactively engage with Generation Z, while also encouraging her peers to take action and provide solutions.

Key Points:

  • Health Care. Mwansa identified adolescent health care as one of the central issues facing her generation, as unaddressed health care issues can have cascading effects later in life. A key obstacle is lack of knowledge about health care issues and health care rights. 
  • Child Marriage. With 12 million girls under 18 married each year, and billions spent on the consequences of child marriage, Mwansa argued that policymakers should make investments that will address the root causes of child marriage, including poverty, lack of education, and outdated social norms. Bhatia noted that a forthcoming IMF staff working paper would explore the relationship between child marriage and economic growth.
  • Girls and Education. At present 130 million girls aged 6-17 are not enrolled in school worldwide. Mwansa noted that without education in these formative years, girls were missing a prime opportunity for self-actualization, with long-term consequences.
  • “Invest and Involve Us.” Mwansa called on policymakers in the audience to invest in Generation Z, but to also let youth help decide the priority areas for investment and how these funds would be allocated.


Opening Remarks: Kristalina Georgieva

Kristalina Georgieva is the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). She is the first person from an emerging market economy to lead the IMF since its inception in 1944. Before joining the Fund, Ms. Georgieva was Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank and also served as Interim President for a time. Previously, she served at the European Commission as Vice President for Budget and Human Resources – and as Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response. She was named “European of the Year” and “Commissioner of the Year” by European Voice for her leadership in the European Union’s humanitarian response to crises.

Moderator: Sabina Bhatia

Sabina Bhatia

Sabina Bhatia is Deputy Secretary of the IMF. Prior to that, she was Assistant Director in the Communications Department. Sabina has a B.A. from Calcutta University and an M.A. in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University.

Panelist: Natasha Mwansa

Natasha Wang Mwansa is an 18-year old social advocate for children’s youth, and women’s issues. Natasha was born and raised in Zambia. She received her diploma from Lusaka Secondary School and is currently a first-year student at the University of Zambia pursuing a degree in Mass Communication with a minor in Political Science and Public Administration. She started her advocacy work at age 13 as a child rights advocate with the Media Network on Child Rights and Development. Natasha has received numerous awards for her advocacy work. Earlier this year, she won the World Health Organization’s Global Health Award for promoting adolescent and women’s health. Natasha was selected to be part of the African Union Commission’s Youth Advisory Board and is the Social Accountability Monitor at Southern Africa HIV and AIDS Dissemination Service. She is also a youth representative for the United Nations Population Fund.