IMF Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa to Double Technical Assistance and TrainingPress Release No. 12/426
November 12, 2012
The International Monetary Fund’s Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center South (AFRITAC South)1 will double its technical assistance and related training activities across Southern Africa in the current financial year (May 1, 2012–April 30, 2013) compared with the previous financial year, the center’s Steering Committee agreed at a two-day meeting that concluded on November 9, 2012. The Committee also endorsed a close collaboration between AFRITAC South and the future regional training center for sub-Saharan Africa to be established in Mauritius (see Press Release No. 12/422).
The November 8-9, 2012 meeting of the AFRITAC South Steering Committee took place in Windhoek, Namibia—the country chairing the Steering Committee. It was attended by officials from nine AFRITAC South member countries (Botswana, Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe), representatives of donors and regional organizations—the African Development Bank, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), UK Government Department for International Development (DFID), European Union, European Investment Bank, Swiss Economic Cooperation (SECO), as well as IMF staff. Representatives of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) participated as observers. The Committee discussed results of the implementation of the work program for FY 2012, and progress to date and plans for FY 2013 in the center’s core areas of expertise: public financial management, revenue administration, financial sector supervision, and real sector statistics.
At the conclusion of the Steering Committee Meeting, Mr. I-Ben Nashandi, Chairman of the AFRITAC South Steering Committee and the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Namibia, and Mr. Vitaliy Kramarenko, AFRITAC South Coordinator, made the following joint statement:
“Members of the Steering Committee agreed that AFRITAC South had become a leading technical assistance hub on macroeconomic policy frameworks in Southern Africa. They noted significant achievements during the first year of the center’s operations (FY 2012), particularly in the areas of public financial management and revenue administration. Members of the Steering Committee also appreciated the importance of the regional dimension of the center’s activities, including outreach to regional blocs and organizations.
“The Steering Committee reviewed the key components of the scaled up Work Program for FY 2013. The center will double its activities in FY 2013 as compared with FY 2012, the Steering Committee agreed. This will be possible thanks to increased funding and staffing. Activities will increase significantly in the areas of public financial management, real sector statistics, and financial sector supervision. Members of the Steering Committee supported the planned significant increase in technical assistance to low-income member countries and underscored the importance of the continuation of this trend going forward. The Steering Committee also noted progress on the implementation of peer-to-peer learning initiatives, including secondments to be hosted by more advanced member countries and participation of member country officials in the center’s technical assistance missions as trainees.
“The Steering Committee endorsed refinements to the recently adopted results-based management framework, which became the center’s tool for strategic planning and evaluation of results.
“Members of the Steering Committee took note of good prospects for additional funding. They agreed that once additional funding becomes available, it should be allocated to a new area of technical assistance—monetary policy and operations—as well as additional training in real sector statistics and macro-economic management.
“Members of the Steering Committee were briefed on the opening process of the future regional training center to be established in Mauritius. They agreed that it would be important to closely coordinate the activities of AFRITAC South and the future regional training center to increase synergies between technical assistance and training.”
1 The center serves Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.