Extreme weather has hit Malawi’s economy hard over the last two years. Severe flooding followed by a drought—the worst in its history—caused widespread crop failure and placed 6.7 million people at risk of starvation. But a remarkable humanitarian effort helped reduce the impact of the drought on the most vulnerable segment of the population. An increase by the IMF to the amount of resources it provides to Malawi, as well as sizable contributions from Malawi’s development partners like the World Food Program and the World Bank, enabled the country to address the worst humanitarian crisis in its history.
In this feature podcast, we hear from the small-scale farmers beset by the effects of climate change, beneficiaries of food aid including school children, and key players within the various agencies who were faced with making tough decisions in the throes of a major food crisis.
Oral Williams: IMF Mission Chief for Malawi
Jack Ree: IMF Resident Representative in Malawi
Goodall Gondwe: Malawi’s Finance Minister
Ben Botolo: Malawi’s Secretary to the Treasury
Coco Ushiyama: World Food Program Representative for Malawi
Roisin DeBurca: Unicef’s Deputy Director for Malawi
Laura Kullenberg: Country Manager for the World Bank in Malawi
Richard Record: Senior Country Economist for the World Bank in Malawi
As China’s economy catches up in size with that of the United States, some predict the renminbi will soon challenge the dollar’s dominance in international finance. But in this podcast, Cornell University’s Eswar Prasad says there are limits to how far China’s currency can go without undertaking significant domestic reforms. Prasad, a former IMF economist himself, was invited to IMF headquarters in Washington to talk about his latest book Gaining Currency: The Rise of the Renminbi
Eswar Prasad, Professor of Trade Policy and Economics at Cornell University, Senior Fellow at the Brookings institution, and author.
Drought, regional conflict, and slow credit growth are taking their toll on Uganda's economy. While per-capita growth has hovered around 5 percent for the last 20 years, the IMFs latest economic assessment shows it has fallen to 1/2 percent. In this podcast, the report's coauthor Axel Schimmelpfennig, says some strategic infrastructure investment and Uganda's untapped oil reserves could help turn things around.
Contributors: Axel Schimmelpfennig, IMF Mission Chief for Uganda
By 2035 sub-Saharan Africa will have more working-age people than the rest of the world’s regions combined. This growing workforce bulge will have to be met with jobs, but the region remains one of the toughest places to do business. Meanwhile, small-unregistered household businesses provide up to 90 percent of jobs outside of agriculture. The IMF’s latest Regional Economic Outlook for sub-Saharan Africa devotes an entire chapter on the informal economy, and in this podcast we speak with economist Ali Mansoor, coauthor of the study.
Ali Mansoor, IMF Division Chief for West Africa, and coauthor of the report.
More than two billion people worldwide are without bank accounts, and only one in three adults in sub-Saharan Africa have access to any type of financial services. But Tayo Oviosu, Founder of Nigeria’s leading mobile payment platform says financial technology—or fintech, is making access to finance possible for millions of un-banked Nigerians.
Tayo Oviosu, Founder and CEO of Paga, Nigeria’s mobile payment platform.
Watch webcast of IMF World-Bank Spring meetings panel on Digital Financial Inclusion
While science and technology propel us into the future at what some would describe as breakneck speed, Oxford University’s Ian Goldin says we should draw from the past because we’ve been here before. In this podcast, Goldin compares the social division, political extremism and insecurity of the first Age of Discovery in the 15th Century, with what is happening today.
Ian Goldin, founding director of the Oxford Martin School, and Professor of Globalization and Development at Oxford University.
While millions of young people enter the labor market every year, the chance of landing a traditional full-time job with benefits are getting slim. Global youth unemployment is on the rise and many young people are opting to work in what’s known as the sharing economy. In this podcast, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde shares her thoughts about policies that might help today’s youth better adapt to the changing nature of work.
Christine Lagarde, IMF Managing Director
The IMF’s Special Drawing Rights have failed to gain real traction in the international monetary system, but Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz and former IMF Deputy Director, believes a greater role for the SDR in global markets could help strengthen the world economy.
Mohamed El-Erian, Chief Economic Advisor at Allianz and former IMF Deputy Director.
FinTech—or financial technology—is poised to revolutionize how the world does business. It could open new kinds of markets to many more people, but it could also threaten our financial privacy or make illicit financial transactions easier. In this podcast, Fintech expert Patrick Murck describes the coming transformation and its pitfalls.
Patrick Murck, fellow at the Harvard Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society, and a Special Counsel at Cooley LLP.
The IMF's latest regional economic outlook for Sub-Saharan Africa shows growth has fallen to its lowest level in twenty years. In this podcast, co-author Céline Allard, says while some countries like Senegal and Kenya continue to experience growth rates higher than 6 percent, growth has slowed for two thirds of countries in the region bringing down average growth in 2016 to 1.4 percent.
Contributors: Céline Allard, Head of the Regional Studies Division in the IMF’s African Department
La dernière édition des Perspectives économiques régionales, indique que la croissance en Afrique subsaharienne est tombée à son plus bas niveau depuis plus de 20 ans. Dans ce podcast, coauteur Céline Allard, explique si certains pays continuent d’enregistrer une croissance supérieure à 6 %, l’expansion a ralenti dans deux tiers des pays de la région, ce qui a réduit la croissance moyenne à 1,4 % en 2016.
Contributors: Céline Allard, chef de la division des études régionales au Département Afrique du FMI
The labor force 30 years from now will look very different as working-age populations in advanced economies start to shrink. While some today worry they’ll lose their jobs to robots, economists like Google’s Hal Varian, wonder if technology will boost productivity enough to compensate for the shifting demographics. Varian, and Harvard’s David Canning, discussed the topic during an IMF World-Bank Spring Meetings seminar earlier this month.
Hal Varian, Google’s Chief Economist and an Emeritus Professor at UC Berkeley.
David Canning, Professor of Population Sciences, Economics and Intl Health, Harvard University, Department of Global Health and Population.
The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook projects global growth at 3.5 percent in 2017 and 3.6 percent in 2018. In this podcast, IMF Chief Economist Maurice Obstfeld says global growth is gaining momentum.
Maurice Obstfeld, IMF Economic Counselor
The 2008 global financial crisis exposed the vulnerability of banks that do not hold enough capital. The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision has since revised capital requirements for banks. In this podcast, we ask IMF economist Lev Ratnovski, how much capital banks need to hold to avert another crisis.
Lev Ratnovski, Senior Economist in the IMF’s Research Department.
Muna AbuSulayman, is founder and co-host of the most popular social issues program on Arab television. Kalam Nawaem tackles controversial topics and has been pushing social boundaries in the region for 15 years. In this podcast, AbuSulayman says Arab women should be free to achieve their goals without cultural or economic barriers.
Muna AbuSulayman, Co-founder of Meedan.com, a news hub for Arab youth and women.
Labor unions around the world are having to adapt to a fast changing labor market. John Evans heads the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, and represents some 65 million organized workers worldwide. In this podcast, Evans says workers are caught in the middle of rapid technological change and slow global growth.
John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD.
As the Group of Twenty finance ministers and central bank governors meet in Germany this week, policymakers are looking at ways to increase investment in Africa. ONE Campaign’s Jamie Drummond says investing into the education, employment and empowerment of this generation of Africans will help create jobs and curb migration into Europe.
Jamie Drummond, Co-Founder and Executive Director of The ONE Campaign
Global trade union leaders gathered at the IMF in February to discuss how workers are being impacted by the changing global economy. In this podcast, Hilma Mote, of the African Region’s International Trade Union Confederation talks about the challenges African youth, especially women are facing with the continent’s rapidly growing labor force.
Hilma Mote, Executive Director of the Africa Labor research and education Institute, ITUC-Africa.
There is a strong connection between human capital and economic growth, and in this podcast, Eric Hanushek says societies that invest a lot in the cognitive skills of their people grow significantly faster. Hanushek studies the relationship between education policy and economic outcomes at Stanford University.
Eric Hanushek, Paul and Jean Hanna Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution of Stanford University. http://hanushek.stanford.edu/
In this podcast we speak with author Alec Ross about his new book The Industries of the Future. Ross says 90 percent of the world’s data has been produced in the last two years, so those businesses that own or harvest a meaning from all this data will be leading the pack. Ross has served as Senior Advisor for Innovation to the US Secretary of State.
Alec Ross, Distinguished Senior Fellow at Johns Hopkins University.
Every two years, the IMF and World-Bank invites global labor union leaders to discuss the global economy and the implications for the labor force. In this podcast, Sharan Burrow, head of the world’s largest trade union federation, says collective action is needed to help better distribute the benefits of growth, if institutions are to regain trust from working people.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation.
With Asia’s recent growth comes a growing responsibility within the global economy. In this podcast, Barry Eichengreen, Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley, breaks down the weight of that responsibility and how Asia can rise to fulfill it.
Barry Eichengreen, George C. Pardee and Helen N. Pardee Professor of Economics and Professor of Political Science at the University of California, Berkeley.
While many African countries have enjoyed significant revenues from the mining industry in recent years, a new study published by the Natural Resource Governance Institute suggests tax revenues from mining could be much higher if transfer pricing rules were enforced. In this podcast, we speak with the report’s author Alexandra Readhead.
Alexandra Readhead, author of Preventing Tax Base Erosion in Africa
Corruption, in its many forms, affects people from every walk of life, in every country. While it does not discriminate based on age, young people are affected by corruption in ways that can follow them throughout their careers. In this podcast, anti-corruption leader Sergejus Muravjovas, talks about the ways in which youth are fighting back.
Sergejus Muravjovas, Executive Director at Transparency International
Lithuania and founder of TransparencySchool.org
New York Times columnist and best-selling author Thomas Friedman, says our lives are being transformed in so many realms at once- it’s dizzying. In this podcast, Friedman talks about his new book, Thank You for Being Late, An Optimist’s Guide to Thriving in the Age of Accelerations.
Thomas Friedman, New York Times columnist and best-selling author.