Ms. Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement in Dakar today at the conclusion of her visit to Senegal:
“It has been a pleasure to be in Senegal on my first visit as IMF Managing Director. I wish to thank President Macky Sall for his hospitality and the quality of our discussions. I also want to thank Prime Minister Mohammed Dionne and Finance Minister Amadou Ba, for our fruitful discussions. I also had the honor to address the National Assembly chaired by Speaker Moustapha Niasse. Finally, I had a rewarding dialogue with women leaders and business schools students.
“I complimented the authorities on the country’s ambitious development plan, the Plan Senegal Emergent, which aims to double growth in the medium-term. The vision and objectives of the PSE are very ambitious, but achievable if there is a radical break with the past. We agreed that reforms needed to be accelerated and broadened to create economic space for SMEs and foreign direct investment, to diversify and expand exports and create jobs that are the foundation for inclusive growth. The efforts to improve the efficiency of public spending must be reinforced.
“I also wish to thank Tiémoko Meyliet Koné, Governor of the BCEAO for inviting me for a roundtable on “Harnessing Financial Integration for Inclusive Growth” with bankers from the region. My visit to the BCEAO was an opportunity to discuss the issue of financial inclusion. Sub-Saharan Africa remains one of the fastest growing regions of the world. Still, growth needs to be more inclusive. The region needs to leverage its well functioning and integrated regional financial system to improve financial inclusion. The opportunities provided by information and communications technology could be better leveraged.