The IMF Successor Must Prioritise Education

20 May

The scandal-fuelled resignation of Dominique Strauss Kahn as head of the IMF has raised some serious issues about who will succeed to lead the financial institution. The IMF has been under increasing pressure to appoint a non-European head, and many anti-poverty campaigners have argued that – due to the state of the global economy – the candidate must be chosen from an international pool of suitable individuals. The key question is – how will the choice of candidate affect education in Africa?

Gordon Brown, ex-Prime Minister of the UK and a potential candidate for the top IMF position, has recently criticised the international community (and the G8 powers in particular) for failing to honour their commitments to the Millennium Development Goal on education. Reforming education, he has indicated, should be a top priority for the IMF under new leadership as there are still 67 million primary-school-age children, and even more adolescent children, out of school. Developing countries require 1.8 million more teachers and further spending on school facilities if they are to realise their economic capabilities.* However, traditional IMF economic planning operates on a three year cycle which puts countries in a difficult position as they cannot always justify short-term spending on education.

Education is a human right


Speaking in South Africa, Brown has launched a report that warns of an “education emergency” emerging in the developing world. This emergency will continue to undermine efforts to boost economic growth and tackle poverty if it is left unheeded – therefore the new leader of the IMF must address education as a top priority and reform their current approach.

 *Source: The Guardian


3 Responses to “The IMF Successor Must Prioritise Education”

  1. Miguel Martim May 20, 2011 at 6:00 pm #

    Job well done, Jessica! What an opportune moment to make education count. Let’s make it happen. Thanks for your insight!

  2. Turyatunga Bob Maahe May 20, 2011 at 11:32 pm #

    Education is everyones right, but is it actually the authorities priority to the beneficiaries? Iduka must request the IMF successor to make sure that education is among the first MDG priorities and that technical, vocational and pre-vocational education is integrated in the system. Miguel, that’s right, education must be given a priority by the two parties, i.e. IMF and World Bank

  3. zahara amri May 25, 2011 at 8:36 am #

    I think that focus should be very much put on how determined and hard working, coupled with trust, that a person may be, because a determined person in most cases has the strongest love for whatever he or she is does and this makes every thing easy thus smooth hence ends up producing the most outstanding piece of work that is pure quality.

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