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Monday, March 3, 2008

IMF: International Ministry of Finance?

Back in the days, when Tanzania was constrained to 'negotiate' with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about 'reforms', Mwalimu Nyerere angrily queried 'when did the IMF become the International Ministry of Finance?'

Nyerere's concern came into my mind when I noticed this picture on page 23 of a new magazine known as 'Lakini: Tanzania and the New Development Cooperation.' I wish I could do a proper photographic analysis of the power dynamics - between the IMF representative in Tanzania and 'our Minister of Finance prior to Richmondgate'- that this photo depicts!

The power dynamics were manifested forcefully during the recent visit of the IMF managing director. He was so dearly briefed about the status of our finances with respect to the EPA scandal. I wonder why we, the citizen, could only hear about important information on our country's coffers indirectly through IMF visitation. Perhaps Mwalimu Nyerere's sarcastic remark on IMF in the beginning of Africa's lost decade of IMF/WB's Structural (mal)Adjustment Programs (SAPs) was an anticipation of this!

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