South Africa’s Finance Minister, Malusi Gigaba, on Thursday, announced that SA Reserve Bank (Sarb) Governor, Lesetja Kganyago, was selected as chairman of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC).

Kganyago, who is also South Africa’s Alternate Governor on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Board of Governors, would chair for a three-year term, with effect from January 18.

“Mr Kganyago will be the first IMFC Chair from the sub-Saharan African (SSA) region and his appointment will strengthen South Africa’s ongoing attempts to enhance the representation of the region in the decision-making structures of the IMF,” the finance department said in a statement. 

“The Minister of Finance congratulates Mr Kganyago on his appointment and wishes him well in this important role. Mr Kganyago will be an excellent IMFC chair given his experience in international financial governance matters during his current role as the Governor of the Sarb since 2014, and his previous role as Director-General of the National Treasury,” the finance department said. 

“Mr Kganyago currently chairs committees in the Southern African Development Community and the Financial Stability Board, and in 2007, led South Africa’s technical team during its presidency of the G20.”

Earlier on Thursday, the IMF announced that the members of the IMFC selected Kganyago.

He succeeds former Governor of the Banco de México, Agustín Carstens — who resigned his chairmanship on December 1, to assume the position of General Manager of the Bank for International Settlements, the IMF said.

“He served as Deputy Governor of the South African Reserve Bank from May 2011 and was responsible for a wide range of areas, including research, financial stability and regulatory reform, bank supervision, and risk management and compliance. During his tenure as Director-General of the National Treasury of South Africa, he successfully steered a number of public finance and financial markets reforms,” the IMF said. 

“Mr Kganyago led South Africa’s technical team to various meetings of G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors, including during South Africa’s presidency in 2007. Mr. Kganyago also chaired the IMF/World Bank Development Committee Deputies and the G20 Working Group on IMF Governance Reform. Mr Kganyago is currently the chair of the Association of African Central Bankers, the chair of the Committee of Central Bank Governors of the Southern African Development Community, and the co-chair of the Financial Stability Board’s Regional Consultative Group for Sub-Saharan Africa.”

Kganyago is also the chair of the Financial Stability Board’s Standing Committee on Standards Implementation.

The IMFC is the primary advisory body of the IMF Board of Governors and deliberates on the principal policy issues facing the IMF and has 24 members.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) also welcomed Kganyago’s appointment.

“The transformation of international financial institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank in order to give a greater voice to emerging economies and at the same time advance development friendly global multilateral trade regimes; has long been a cornerstone of the ANC’s International Relations policy. To this end, it is crucial that there is greater representation of developing countries across the management structures of these important institutions,” the party said.

“Mr. Kganyago is the first IMFC Chair from the Sub-Saharan African region. His appointment is a resounding affirmation of a global confidence in South Africa’s financial institutions. The IMFC provides strategic direction to and makes decisions on crucial matters involving the international monetary and financial system and the ANC hopes he will leverage this appointment to ensure that the voices of developing countries are always taken into account in decision-making.”

The party wished Kganyago well in his new role.

– African News Agency (ANA)