John H. Young, 58, a former deputy director of the African department of the International Monetary Fund, died of cancer Monday at his home in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.

Mr. Young moved to Washington from Canada in 1976 to become deputy director of the IMF's research department. In 1979, he was named deputy director of the African department. He held that position until April, when he retired for reasons of health.

A native of Canada, Mr. Young served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II. He later earned degrees in economics at Queen's University Kingston, Ontario, and Cambridge University, England. qHe taught at Yale University in the 1950s and then joined the faculty of the University of British Columbia.

From 1969 to 1972, he was chairman of the Canadian Prices and Incomes Commission in Ottawa. From 1974 to 1976, he was assistant deputy minister of finance in the Canadian government. He returned to the University of British Columbia before joining the IMF.

His first wife, the former Katharine Fair, died in 1968.

Survivors include his wife, the former Susan Dexter of Victoria, and four children by his first marriage, Katharine, Elizabeth, Geoffrey and Peter, all of Victoria.

The family suggests that expressions of sympathy be in the form of contributions to the Washington Hospice Society, 1828 L St. NW, Washington, D.C.