IMF Seminar: Financing Resilience, Growth and Shared Prosperity

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DATE: October 11, 2023

DAY: Wednesday

4:00 PM - 4:45 PM

LOCATION: AA02 Al Karaouine

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Many countries have been hit hard by the shocks of recent years, especially low-income countries grappling with multiple challenges—including rapid inflation, food insecurity, costly borrowing, and mounting debt. When these countries needed to formulate policy responses, their external and fiscal space was already running low after the pandemic. Now, they are faced with a funding squeeze, with aid and access to private finance drying up, that is delaying the recovery and undermining future growth prospects. This threatens to reverse a decades-long trend of steadily converging living standards. This seminar will discuss how countries can overcome the funding squeeze and build a more resilient future growth path and, in particular, explore the role the international community can play with well-coordinated policy advice, capacity building, and financial support. The discussion will also highlight the IMF’s engagement with these countries under its Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust, and how IMF concessional financing plays a key role in helping these countries cushion the impact on growth from ongoing shocks and future crises.

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IMF Seminar: Financing Resilience, Growth and Shared Prosperity


Panelist: Kenji Okamura

Kenji, Okamura, Deputy Managing Director, IMF

Mr. Kenji Okamura assumed office as Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund on December 3, 2021. Before joining the IMF, Mr. Okamura served as Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan on International Economic Policies. Prior to that position, he was Vice Minister of Finance for International Affairs from 2020-21, Japan’s highest civil servant position in international finance. In this position, he oversaw all international finance work of the Ministry and participated in IMFC, G7, G20, ASEAN + 3, and other meetings, representing Japan as the Finance Minister’s Deputy.

Panelist: Rania Al-Mashat

Dr. Rania Al-Mashat is Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation as of December 2019, and previously served as the country’s first female Minister of Tourism. Prior to that, she was Advisor to the Chief Economist of the International Monetary Fund. Her other former roles include serving as Sub-Governor for Monetary Policy at the Central Bank of Egypt, Senior Economist at the IMF, Deputy Project Director for the Institutional Reform and Informal Sector Center at the University of Maryland, and Adjunct Professor of Economics at the American University in Cairo (AUC). She has produced several publications on monetary policy, financial stability, and institutional reforms in transition and emerging markets.

She represents Egypt as Governor for several international financial institutions, including the World Bank Group, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development, and the Arab Bank for Economic Development. She serves as Alternate Governor of Egypt at the African Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the Islamic Development Bank. She is also Co-Chair of the MENA Stewardship Board at the World Economic Forum (WEF); and Member of the New Economy and Society Stewardship Board at WEF. She has several board affiliations, including the Egyptian Stock Exchange, the Egyptian General Authority for Free Zones and Investment, the Arab International Bank, the Arab Investment Bank, and the Middle East Economic Association.

She received her PhD and MA in Economics from the University of Maryland and BA in Economics from AUC. She has also completed executive education programs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and Oxford University’s SaÏd Business School.

Panelist: Alvaro Lario

Alvaro Lario is President of the International Fund of Agricultural Development (IFAD). A seasoned international development finance leader, he has more than 20 years of experience across academia, private sector asset management, World Bank Group and the United Nations, including as Associate Vice-President of Financial Operations at IFAD.

Under his stewardship, IFAD became the first United Nations Fund to enter the capital markets and obtain a credit rating, enabling the IFAD to expand resource mobilization efforts to the private sector. Before joining the Fund in early 2018, he was the Treasury Capital Markets Lead and Principal Portfolio Officer at the International Finance Corporation, part of the World Bank Group, where he focused on local capital markets development and emerging markets investments.

President Lario received a PhD in Financial Economics from the Complutense University of Madrid after completing a Master of Research in Economics at the London Business School and a Master of Finance from Princeton University.

Panelist: Mohamed Hettiti

Mr. Hettiti brings over 25 years of experience in project and program management and operational management to this role.
He joined OCP Group in 1999 and started his career in the southern region of Morocco, where he held various positions in production and maintenance.

In 2008, he was appointed as a project manager for the group's development program in the mines. He was later promoted to project director in charge of the slurry pipeline downstream facilities. In this role, he was responsible for the successful delivery of several major projects, including the world's biggest flash dryer project.

In 2010, he joined JESA (JV OCP with Jacobs) as Deputy Project Director of the first EPCM Project done by the JV. In this role, he gained valuable experience in the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) industry.

In 2018, Mr. Hettiti was appointed managing director of OCP Africa's subsidiary in Nigeria. In this role, he led the company's expansion into the Nigerian market and oversaw the construction of several fertilizer blending plants. He also launched several initiatives to support local farmers and develop the agriculture ecosystem in Nigeria.

In 2021, Mr. Hettiti was appointed Senior Vice President in charge of West and Central Africa for OCP Africa. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing the company's operations in these regions and leading several key projects.
In sept 2023 he was appointed Chief operating officer in charge of operations in Africa and SVP est Africa

Mr. Hettiti is a graduate of the Ecole Mohammedia des Ingénieurs in Morocco with a degree in electrical engineering. He also holds an EMBA from the Africa Business School in collaboration with Columbia Business School. He is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP).

Panelist: Kevin Chika Urama

Kevin Chika Urama is currently the Chief Economist/Vice President for Economic Governance & Knowledge Management, African Development Bank Group (AfDB). Prof. Urama is an elected Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences (AAS); a Distinguished Professor of the University of Nigeria; an Extra-Ordinary Professor in the School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, South Africa; an Adjunct Professor at the Sir Walter Murdoch School of Public Policy and International Affairs, Western Australia, a Member of the Global Council on the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the term 2021 to 2023.

Prior to joining the African Development Bank, Kevin Urama was the inaugural Managing Director of the Quantum Global Research Lab, Switzerland; Executive Director of the African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS); and Senior Research Fellow at the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute, Scotland. Kevin holds an MPhil and a Ph.D. in Land Economy from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Moderator: Godfrey Mutizwa

Godfrey Mutizwa is the Editor of CNBC Africa, sub-Saharan Africa’s biggest business television channel. He has covered African business news for the past 38 years across print and broadcast media working for both regional and international media. Previously, Godfrey spent a decade at Bloomberg News and Reuters covering African markets and economies from Harare, Nairobi and Johannesburg. Godfrey also moderates high level debates for institutions including the African Development Bank, the Africa Export-Import Bank and the World Economic Forum.

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