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Understanding the Arab League of Nations  

Arab Monetary Fund (AMF)

To put it simply, a monetary fund refers to money that’s been kept for a specific purpose. 

Not to be confused with the International Monetary Fund, which was established back at the Bretton Woods conference in 1944 to secure global financial securities, the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) works on fairly similar objectives but within the limited scope of Arab League nations. 

Let’s dig into the specifics of what is the AMF and understand it better through examples of AMF projects.

Arabs reflect an ethnic group that is geographically concentrated on the African and Asian continents. Sharing a rich history and cultural identity, a need to integrate the economic and social interests of the Arab nations was first felt in 1945. 

Initially composed of only six member nations including Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan (renamed Jordan in 1949), Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria, the Arab League or League of Arab Nations was brought into existence to strengthen close relations between the member nations. 

While the League has now grown to 22 member states, it did suspend one of its original member nations, Syria, in 2011 to indicate its disapproval of the Syrian government’s draconian actions on its citizens.

History of Arab Monetary Fund

AMF means a regional Arab organisation that was initiated in 1976 and came into force by 1977. Operating as a sub-organisation of the Arab League, it was built on the premises to promote beneficial trades between the league’s nations and to accelerate the development of these economies. 

AMF currently supports 22 member nations and the league is spread across the Middle East and North Africa. The Arab Monetary Fund is headquartered in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates. 

Objectives of Arab Monetary Fund

The best way to understand the intricacies of the Arab Monetary Fund is to look at some of its primary objectives:

  • Maintaining a healthy balance of payments between its member nations

  • Fostering monetary cooperation between its member nations through cohesive policies

  • Working on the development of the Arab financial markets

  • Organising current payments between member nations effectively by removing roadblocks 

  • Working its way to bring a unified Arab currency into existence.

Collaboration with the World Bank

On 17 April 2015 the World Bank announced signing an Enhanced Partnership Framework with the Arab Monetary Fund to extend its support in developing the financial markets and economies of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries.

Through this partnership framework, efforts were concentrated on three specific key areas which were instrumental to the overall financial development of the AMF member nations.

The first area of focus was to build upon the electronic payment infrastructure and put efficient credit information sharing systems in place. 

The second aspect was to usher in the start-up culture, provide adequate financing support and set up small and medium enterprise stock markets.

Lastly, the partnership was aimed at promoting financial inclusions and access to individuals, micro-enterprise firms, etc.

Mission and vision of the AMF

The sole mission of the AMF remains to have an Arab nations-focused approach to economic development and lay the monetary foundations for creating synergies between its different member states. 

In its vision for 2040, the IMF aims to be the closest partner for the Arab countries in their interactions with changes, to strengthen economic, financial and monetary stability, and development process.

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