Like so many countries across the Middle East and North Africa, Morocco faced successive shocks over the past three years including a devastating drought. But the country managed well thanks to an aggressive reform agenda. In this podcast, Morocco’s Finance Minister Nadia Fettah, and IMF Regional Director Jihad Azour, discuss how Morocco is keeping reforms on track despite the challenging circumstances, and what lessons other countries in the region might learn from Morocco’s experience. Their conversation was part of the Governor Talks series hosted by the IMF during the IMF-World Bank Spring Meetings, and a preamble to the Annual Meetings to be held in Marrakesh this fall.
Watch the webcast at IMF.org
Industrial policy refers to a set of policies that governments use to bolster national industries or companies deemed strategically important for economic competitiveness, social outcomes, or national security. The approach has been used in many countries to create global giants like Huawei, General Electric, Volkswagen, and Airbus to name a few. Economist Ruchir Agarwal is currently studying industrial policy, among other things, at the Yale School of Management and Harvard Kennedy School. In this podcast, Agarwal says while the practice of choosing national champions fell out of favor in the 1980s, rising geopolitical tensions of late have sparked a renewed interest in industrial policy, which can be a guise for protectionism.
Agricultural productivity in Africa has lagged behind for decades, and now climate change is making things worse. But for Hamza Rkha Chaham, the prospect of helping African farmers increase crop yields prompted him to launch a startup that is transforming lives. Chaham was only 27 years old in 2018 when he co-founded SOWIT, a company that uses processed satellite imagery to provide farmers with invaluable data to optimize decisions related to irrigation and fertilization. In this podcast, he says startups in Africa can be challenging on many levels, but the rewards far outweigh the risks.