Reimagining the International Monetary Fund Quota System for Africa

  • Starts2:00 pm on Thursday, April 18, 2024
  • Ends4:00 pm on Thursday, April 18, 2024

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) employs a quota system that serves as a building block of the Fund’s governance and financial architecture. This system, initially agreed upon during the creation of the Fund in 1944, allowed high-income countries to accumulate large quota shares relative to low- and middle-income countries. Quotas are key because they determine members’ voting power, financial commitments of members, access to financial assistance and the distribution of Special Drawing Rights (SDRs), the IMF’s reserve asset.

At least every five years, the IMF board conducts general quota reviews. In December 2023, the IMF completed its 16th General Review of Quotas, which resulted in no changes to the quota formula and no change in quota distribution. However, the IMF did agree to proportionally increase the quotas of member states by 50 percent.

In the current quota distribution, low-income countries, and in particular African countries, have limited voice and decision-making power, with four African founding members of the IMF having fewer shares than they did 80 years ago. African countries are stuck in a vicious cycle where they consistently need resources from the IMF but are limited in both what they can receive and their voice in the institution.

How can African countries increase the size of their quota shares? What specific changes in volume and share should African countries aim for to achieve a more equitable distribution of quotas?

On Thursday, April 18 from 2:00-4:00 PM EDT, join the Boston University Global Development Policy Center, Development Reimagined and Oxfam for an expert panel on the sidelines of the 2024 IMF/World Bank Group Spring Meetings to discuss IMF quota reform from an African perspective, focusing on concrete steps ahead of the 17th General Review of Quotas.

Oxfam Offices 1101 17th Street, NW, Suite 1300, Washington, DC 20036-4710

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