Southern Africa Finance Ministry Officials Exchange Experiences in Implementing Medium-Term Budget FrameworksPress Release No. 13/356
September 23, 2013
The International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Fiscal Affairs Department and Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center South (AFRITAC South) held a workshop on “Medium Term Budget Frameworks (MTBFs) for Sub-Saharan Africa” in Mauritius September 16-20, 2013. Thirty-four officials from finance and planning ministries representing AFRITAC South member countries (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe) attended the seminar. Representatives from the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the European Union (EU), and the Macroeconomic and Financial Management Institute of Eastern and Southern Africa (MEFMI) also participated.
IMF staff explored with participants how MTBFs can enhance fiscal discipline and sustainability, improve the strategic allocation of resources between sectors, and ensure the efficient use of resources by the public sector. Topics of discussion included: macro-fiscal forecasting and fiscal policy rules; constructing multi-year expenditure ceilings; improving budget processes and documents; promoting investment and inclusive growth; and making effective sectoral allocations and linking to program budgeting. The participants shared the challenges they faced in developing MTBFs and the seminar provided an opportunity to learn from each other.
Addressing the participants, Mr. Christ Paddia, representative of the Mauritius Ministry of Finance and Economic Development noted that the global financial and economic crisis highlighted that reforming governments’ management of public finances is no longer an option but a necessity in the region.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr Ibrahim Abodullahi Zedy, Director of the COMESA Monetary Institute, stressed the importance of sound MTFFs for macroeconomic convergence in the COMESA region and welcomed AFRITAC South’s technical assistance in this area.
Mr. Vitaliy Kramarenko, AFRITAC South Coordinator said that the seminar presented a unique opportunity to engage officials from the AFRITAC South member countries in the peer-to-peer exchange of ideas on how to make the MTBF more successful in achieving better outcomes in terms of economic growth, infrastructure development, and poverty reduction. Ms. Florence Kuteesa, Technical Assistance Advisor in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department added that the seminar provided useful inputs into the on-going AFRITAC South technical assistance on the MTBF to its member counties.