Word from Washington: April 2019

Categories: Member News

This past week, Senior Advisor to the U.S. President, Ivanka Trump, embarked on a four-day trip to Africa to promote the Women’s Global Development and Prosperity Initiative (W-GDP) started in February 2019. The initiative seeks to reach 50 million women in the developing world by 2025 through U.S. government activities, private-public partnerships, and a new, innovative fund at USAID.

Trump began her trip in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where she participated at the African Women’s Economic Inclusion and Empowerment Summit. While in Addis Ababa she visited a textile company and met with H.E. Sahle-Work Zewde, the President of Ethiopia and the Prime Minister, H.E. Abiy Ahmed.

Trump ended her trip in Côte d’Ivoire where she joined the Women Entrepreneurs Financial Initiative (WeFi) summit, which was organized by the World Bank’s Women Entrepreneurs Finance Initiative. While in Côte d’Ivoire, Trump visited a cocoa farm and announced a $2 million commitment to help women in Côte d’Ivoire’s cocoa industry. The W-GDP will work closely with the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Islamic Development Bank to distribute funds to women projects throughout the continent.

The 2019 Spring Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were held in Washington, D.C. from April 12-14. The meetings featured the World Bank-IMF Development Committee and the IMF’s International Monetary and Financial Committee plenary sessions. These meetings reviewed the progress made by the World Bank and IMF in various sectors.

The official meetings were preceded earlier in the week by seminars, regional briefings, press conferences, and many other events focused on the global economy, international development, and the world’s financial markets. ​The World Bank Group and the IMF also organized and hosted a number of related meetings of groups of country delegations, such as G-20, G-24, Commonwealth, BRICS, the civil society policy forum, among other events.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Administration’s new initiative on Africa, Prosper Africa, has not yet been officially released. That could happen in June 2019. The initiative, disclosed in December 2018 by the U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton, supports U.S. private sector investment in Africa and targets growing Africa’s middle class, improving business climate, and supporting “high-quality, transparent, and inclusive” trade.