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IMF head Christine Lagarde in SA, will meet with Ramaphosa and Kganyago

Dec 18 2018 13:22
 IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde addresses a news conference on the eve of the World Economic Forum, WEF, in Davos. (Markus Schreiber, AP)

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The International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director, Christine Lagarde, will on Wednesday hold a joint press conference with SA Reserve Bank Governor Lesetja Kganyago to speak about "recent economic developments in South Africa".

The afternoon press briefing will follow a meeting between the two.

Lagarde is visiting South Africa as part of the IMF heads' annual African trip. She will also be paying a courtesy visit to President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Speaking in Ghana on Monday, the IMF head said African countries needed to start crafting policies to future-proof their economies and working populations against disruption by new technologies and automation.

Crucial here, she said, was improving education and boosting digital connectivity, so that workers could take advantage of new breakthroughs rather than being replaced.

"Despite successes in primary education, sub-Saharan Africa lags behind in secondary education. The share of children in the region who attend secondary school is just 30 percent, the lowest in the world.

"[S]imply increasing enrollment is unlikely to be enough. We need to promote digital literacy and identify the skills that will allow the next generation to work with and take advantage of technology rather than be replaced by it," she said. 

Lagarde said in some new tech fields, African countries had been innovators - an example being the introduction of the mobile m-pesa payment system in Kenya.

The joint press briefing will take place at 16:00 on Wednesday in Pretoria. 

sarb  |  imf  |  lesetja kganyago  |  christine lagarde  |  sa economy


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