IMF tackles West Africa’s financial integration challenges

imfThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Ghana government are set to co-host a West African conference on the opportunities and challenges of financial integration in the region.

The event will come-off October 28, 2013 in Accra, officials have said.

In a statement, the IMF said the conference which will bring together senior policymakers from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), financial sector representatives, and experts from international financial institutions—will address financial sector issues that could have broad implications for the region’s future economic prospects.

Discussions are expected to focus on the potential benefits of financial integration for private sector development and the mobilization of long-term financing for infrastructure, while also highlighting the risks from larger and more interconnected financial systems.

Drawing on the experience of other regions, the conference will crystallize lessons and concrete steps that West African countries can take to maximize the benefits of financial integration.

Ghana’s Vice President Kwesi Amissah-Arthur and IMF’s Deputy Managing Director, Naoyuki Shinohara are expected to attend the one-day event.

According to Mr Shinohara, financial integration has emerged as an increasingly important factor that can help lift West Africa to the next stage of development.

By Ekow Quandzie

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