IMF and Switzerland Sign Agreement on Switzerland’s Support of Capacity Building for Sub-Saharan Africa Through the IMF African Regional Technical Assistance Centers

Press Release No. 09/453
December 11, 2009

Mr. Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and Ambassador Beatrice Maser Mallor, Head of Economic Cooperation and Development of the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), signed today an agreement for a contribution of US$10 million by Switzerland to the IMF’s Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centers (AFRITACs).

Following the signing, Mr. Portugal issued the following statement:

“The AFRITACs are widely considered as models for effective capacity building in Africa. They assist recipient countries in their efforts to strengthen financial governance and build effective institutions. In doing so, they complement the work of all other development partners in Africa.

“The IMF is pleased that Switzerland has decided to contribute US$10 million to the AFRITAC Initiative. Switzerland is already one of the largest donors to the IMF’s capacity building program and to existing AFRITACs and its further support, including for the establishment of two new centers in Western and Southern Africa, will further strengthen our partnership for the continent.”

Background Information

Demand for the IMF’s technical assistance is rising in light of the current global economic and financial crisis as countries work on strengthening their institutions. To meet this rising demand as well as to better coordinate assistance delivery, the Fund is strengthening its partnerships with donors by engaging with them on a broader, longer-term, and more strategic basis. As a part of these efforts, the IMF recently opened the Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Center (see Press Release No. 09/236) and intends to open three additional Regional Technical Assistance Centers (RTACs) in Central Asia, and Southern and Western Africa.

Complementing the regional perspective of the RTACs, a menu of Topical Trust Funds (TTFs) will provide a global coverage and a specialized topical scope. The IMF launched its first TTF on Anti-Money Laundering and Combating the Financing of Terrorism in May 2009 (see Press Release No. 09/108). The roll-out of other TTFs is planned over the next year in the areas of natural resource management, tax policy and administration, public financial management, development of sustainable debt strategies, compilation of statistics relevant to financial stability, and macroeconomic training for officials from African countries.

Useful links:

IMF Technical Assistance Factsheet:

http://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/tech.htm

Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness:

http://www.oecd.org/dataoecd/11/41/34428351.pdf



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