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IMF links good governance to fair share of wealth

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The head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, on Thursday appealed in Algiers for good governance and a fair share-out of wealth in resource-rich countries.

“A strong commitment to good governance lies at the heart of responsible management of natural resource wealth,” Strauss-Kahn said at the opening of a high-level two-day seminar organised by the IMF Institute and the Central Bank of Algeria.

“Good governance helps ensure that commodity revenues can benefit all in society,” he added. “That is why institutions with a high level of accountability are so important.”

“Your countries have been blessed with tremendous natural resources and yet in many of them, unemployment is high, especially among the youth, and millions remain in poverty.,” he told an large international audience.

“It seems only right that your countries’ natural riches should be used to tackle constraints on growth and development, to create the decent jobs needed to raise living standards.”

When he arrived in Algeria on Wednesday, Strauss-Kahn observed that the oil and gas-rich north African country had an unemployment rate of 10 percent, but this went up to 20 percent among young people.

Strauss-Kahn stated Thursday that “much greater investment in physical, human and institutional capital is clearly needed to boost productivity and raise competitiveness. This should be supported by structural reforms that tackle constraints on entrepreneurship and that improve the business climate.”

However, the IMF director-general warned the conference – entitled “Natural Resources, Finance and Development: Confronting Old and New Challenges” – that spending should be at a “measured pace” to “safeguard macroeconomic stability”.
Source:  AP

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