IMF’s West African PFM centre met two-thirds of targets

6 May 14
The International Monetary Fund’s West African technical assistance centre met two-thirds of its targets in the last year to improve public financial management by governments across the continent, it has announced

By Richard Johnstone | 6 May 2014 

The International Monetary Fund’s West African technical assistance centre met two-thirds of its targets in the last year to improve public financial management by governments across the continent, it has announced.

The steering committee of the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Centre for West Africa (West AFRITAC) has met in Abidjan in Côte d’Ivoire to review its work and endorse the programme for the year ahead.

According to figures published by the IMF yesterday, the centre increased its technical assistance activities by 6% over 2013/14, leading to implementation of significant reforms to economic and financial administration.

Among the work completed in the last year was the publication of a series of national accounts in both Benin and Guinea, and support was given to a number of countries across the region to harmonise public finance frameworks. 

The report also highlighted a ‘remarkable’ increase in tax revenue collection from medium-sized firms in Senegal following help to launch a new centre focusing on the issue.

Following the meeting, Badawasso Gnaro, a representative of the minister of finance of Togo and chair of the West AFRITAC Steering Committee, and Jean Le Dem, director of West AFRITAC, issued a statement endorsing its ongoing plans.

Work planned for 2014/15 includes enhancement of public financial statistics in most countries. Publication of quarterly national accounts in both Burkina Faso and the Cote d’Ivoire were highlighted as a priority alongside strengthening the budget preparation framework in Togo. A Single Treasury Account is also to be introduced in Benin, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal.

In addition, the centre is also planning to begin work in a new field of improving governments’ macroeconomic analysis and forecasting skills.

‘The steering committee also endorsed the work programme for 2014/15, which it considered to be balanced, in line with the strategic orientations, and compatible with the available funding,’ the statement said.

West AFRITAC is one of five IMF technical assistance centres in Africa, and has been open since 2003. Based in Abidjan, it covers ten countries: Benin; Burkina Faso; Côte d’Ivoire; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Mali; Mauritania; Niger; Senegal; and Togo.

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