The International Monetary Fund (IMF) African Constituency Group One has elected Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister Amara Konneh as the new Chairman of the 24-member grouping for the next two years. Minister Konneh succeeds Malawi’s Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe.
The IMF African Group One Constituency gives African countries the opportunity to voice their issues to a panel that helps in determining the international policy objectives for a group of nations.
In brief remarks, the outgoing Chairman Goodall Gondwe described Chairman Konneh as eminently qualified and experienced to diligently and effectively advance the interests of the IMF’s Africa Group One Constituency. “It gives me great pleasure to announce Mr. Amara Konneh as our new Chairman,” Gondwe announced as he traded seat with his successor, amidst applause from the audience of African Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors.
Following his appointment, the new Chairman urged his colleagues to lend their fullest cooperation and support in moving the constituency forward. He extolled his predecessor for his commitment and competence in leading the group over the past two years. According to him, under Malawi’s leadership, the Constituency was able to resolve outstanding administrative issues.
According to a Finance Ministry release, Chairman Konneh urged member countries to hold together and speak with one voice. “Our collective voice will be bolstered if we also work together for a common goal to maximize our influence on the policies of the IMF.”
Recognizing the diversity within in the constituency, Konneh challenged group members to see such diversity as a source of strength, noting “each one of our countries has demonstrated considerable potential growth, which we must tap singularly and collectively”.
He emphasized that economic growth is the most durable source of recognition and voice.
Minister Konneh’s ascension comes at the time when Liberia and its neighbors, Guinea and Sierra Leone are witnessing the worse ever outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease, which has claimed over 4,000 lives in the sub-region.
Meanwhile, Somalia became the newest member of the Group. The Minister of Finance of Somalia, Hussein A. Halane and delegation attending the meeting thanked the group for accepting Somalia’s request.
In a related development, Mr. Armando Manuel of Angola was appointed as the Vice Chairman, a position held by Minister Konneh prior to his ascendancy to the Chairmanship.