Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Amara M. Konneh has challenged African Governments to explore alternative means of resource mobilization for enhanced economic growth in the wake of shrinking concessional financing from multilateral institutions.
Delivering the opening remarks at the regular Governor’s Policy Dialogue Series of the Africa Group 1 Constituency of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Minister Konneh observed that sub-Saharan Africa has made significant economic progress in maintaining macroeconomic stability and growth but challenges still remained that required a collective sense of urgency.
The Policy Dialogue session was held under the theme “Creating Fiscal Space to deliver on our Development Aspirations” on the margins of the World Bank/IMF meetings in Lima, Peru.
Minister Konneh, who is also Chairperson of the Group 1 Constituency, said from the IMF country surveillance reports, the continent still faced the recurring challenges of impediments to growth, the need to manage our external and fiscal balances, and gaps in our infrastructure spending — a principal threat to long-term economic growth targets in Africa.
Accordingly, he said fiscal policy was a viable tool that could affect medium to long term growth in various ways through investment, tax and expenditure decisions, stressing that tax revenue could be shifted towards accelerating increased growth.
Konneh said broadening the domestic tax base; tightening loopholes in revenue administration were other fiscal options critical to addressing negative externalities within the respective economies.
In closing, the Liberian Treasury chief praised the resilience of the people of Liberia for helping to maintain peace and stability, which has created the enabling environment for investment and economic development and social transformation.
Peace and stability were a necessary precondition, he emphasized, for growth across the continent, stressing the need for strengthening governance institutions and processes across the continent in order to advance our development goals and reduce dependence on foreign aid.
Minister Konneh shared the panel with Executive Director IMF, Henry Rotich (Kenya), Keith Muhakanizi (Uganda), Moses Tule (Nigeria), Francis Chipimo (Zambia), Martin Gdiamini (Swaziland) and Patrick Njoroge Governor Reception.