The African Development Institute of the African Development Bank Group and its partners hosted the 8th Global Community of Practice policy dialogue on managing public finances in times of crisis in Africa on 28 February and 1 March 2022.
More than 500 delegates from 58 countries representing global institutions, governments, research bodies and think tanks participated. Also featured were representatives of several think tanks and universities in Africa, former ministers of finance, former and current central bank governors, heads of academic institutions, the private sector, and civil society.
Opening the meetings, the Bank Group’s Senior Vice President, Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala, warned that the continent would not achieve the 2030 global Sustainable Development Goals without affordable financing and prudent public finance management systems. Tshabalala lauded the partners for working together to convene the dialogue on such an important subject.
“There is an urgent need for better-focused policy support to African countries, structured within a framework that incorporates both crisis management and post-pandemic resilience and green recovery,” she said.
In his welcoming remarks, Prof. Kevin Chika Urama, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management at the African Development Bank Group, called for urgent action to improve public financial management systems in Africa, based on lessons from the Covid-19 crisis.
“It has, no doubt, deepened the need for enhanced mobilization and prudential management of scarce public finances to deliver development impacts,” Urama said.
The seminar was followed by an inaugural three-day executive training program for representatives of government agencies, ministries and central banks. The training focused on key policy tools for managing public finances in times of crisis. It included introductory courses on the key pillars of the public financial management cycle.
A total of 140 public financial management practitioners from 40 countries had been nominated by their respective countries to attend the training, to be completed in 12-18 months. It covers upstream, midstream, and downstream issues, including domestic resource mobilization, budget and expenditure planning and management, debt management and sustainability, fiscal policy forecasting and modeling, accountability and transparency, and strengthening public financial management capacity in public-private partnerships.
The Covid-19 crisis has exacerbated the challenges of financing the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, Africa’s Agenda 2063, and national development goals across Africa. It has impacted the continent’s macro-economic outlook, debt vulnerabilities, livelihoods and financial flows in fundamental ways, reversing decades of progress on the continent.
For details on the seminar and the list of institutions represented, click here.