Feb 27, 2009, 3:43 AM
Members at the National Assembly unanimously approved the amendment to the articles of the International Monetary Fund, to help enhance their voice and participation in the International Monetary Fund.
In tabling the motion before the deputies, Hon Abdou Kolley, the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, revealed that already 32 countries have voted for the Voice and Participation Amendment, while 29 countries voted for the Investment Authority Amendment.
The Voice and Participation Amendment, Minister Kolley added "is geared towards enhancing voice and participation in the IMF." He said it is also expected to strengthen the voice of smaller economies, as well as protect their basic votes.
According to him, IMF Board of Governors has agreed to increase its staff at the office of the Executive Directors in Africa so as to increase Africa's voice.
He maintained that this amendment would allow the sub- Saharan African Executive Directors (EDs) to appoint two alternate EDs, following the first regular election of the ED after an entry into force of the proposed amendment.
"If the amendment is approved before the 2010 annual meetings, the first and the second alternate ED should be appointed in 2010," he informed Gambian law-makers.
The Investment Authority Amendment, Hon Kolley noted "emanates from the changes the IMF is making to its income model, aimed at ending IMF's Executive Board to determine its investment strategy."
In conclusion, Minister Kolley said "in order to avoid further erosion in the voting power of low-income countries (including The Gambia) caused by the quota increase, the ad hoc increase will not take until the amendment of the articles on the basic votes is approved."
Contributing to the motion, the Hon Momodou Sellu Bah, Member for Basse, Fabakary Tobong Jatta, the Majority Leader and Member for Serrekunda East, Babanding K.K. Daffeh of Kiang Central, Momodou LK Sanneh, the Minority Leader and Sedia Jatta of Wuli West, all hailed the Finance Minister for bringing what they described as a positive motion.