Mozambique epitomises a positive spirit: Lagarde

“Major steps have been taken to reduce poverty and raise life expectancy. These are the fruits of years of institution-building and sound economic management,” Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), said in a keynote address in Mozambique’s capital of Maputo.

“The recent discovery of natural resources offers a unique opportunity to further build on these gains and make growth more inclusive.”

Lagarde’s keynote address was during the “Africa Rising: Building to the Future” conference currently underway in Mozambique until 30 May.

The conference is in partnership with the government of Mozambique and the IMF, which aims to highlight the continent’s resilience to certain shocks, increased economic performance and policy challenges. The conference is a follow up from the 2009 Tanzania conference. The

According to Lagarde, Mozambique has posted one of the fastest growth rates in the Sub-Saharan region at an average of 7.4 per cent per year. The IMF Country Report added that growth across sectors is projected continue at 8.5 per cent in 2014.

(READ MORE: Mozambique governor says GDP growth could top 8.1%)

Lagarde added that despite Mozambique’s successes, which include the country’s vast reserves of offshore natural gas fields, the prominent existence of poverty and a sometimes fragile economy indicate an unfinished journey towards stability.

Last year, energy company Eni announced the additional discovery gas in its Agulha exploration prospect in Area 4, just off the coast of Mozambique, is expected to strenghten the country’s reputation as a major resource producer.

(READ MORE: Multiple revenue sources expected from Mozambique’s gas industry)

“This conference offers a unique opportunity to reflect – together – on the lessons learned from Africa’s success and the challenges ahead. There is still much to be done. The continent is very diverse, and some countries risk being left behind, especially those faced with recurring conflict,” Lagarde explained.

Other keynote speakers at the conference include former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique and former American president Bill Clinton.

“Africa’s success journey has been truly remarkable. But if the global crisis has taught us anything, it is the importance of making the benefits of growth more broadly shared. When everyone benefits, growth is more durable,” said Lagarde.