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African Fiscal Forum

Fiscal Policy Challenges in Africa

Cape Town, South Africa November 9-10, 2011


The National Treasury, Republic of South Africa and the Fiscal Affairs Department of the International Monetary Fund hosted a fiscal forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa November 9-10, 2011.

Participation in the conference was by invitation only.

Disclaimer

The website contains papers and web links to papers that were presented at the African Fiscal Forum: Fiscal Policy Challenges in Africa. The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.

  

African Fiscal Forum: Fiscal Policy Challenges in Africa
Cape Town, South Africa
November 9-10, 2011

Wednesday, November 9
8:15 am–8:45 am Registration and coffee
8:45 am–9:30 am Opening session:
• Welcome address
Nhlanhla Nene, Deputy Minister of Finance, South Africa
Sanjeev Gupta, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF
9:30 am–12:45 pm Session 1: Fiscal trends and outlook
This session will focus on recent fiscal trends in Africa and the medium-term outlook for public finances. What lessons can we learn from the fiscal response during the crisis? Was fiscal policy effective in dealing with the shocks? What is the legacy of the crisis going forward?
9:30 am–11:00 am Recent trends in public finances
• Chair: Neil Cole, Chief Director: African  Economic Integration and Executive Secretary: CABRI
• Speakers: Sanjeev Gupta, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF; country representatives from Ethiopia, and Mauritius (20 min for each speaker to present)

• Discussion: (30 min)
11:00 am–11:15 am ***Tea & coffee***
11:15 am–12:45 pm Fiscal policy response to crises—country experiences
• Chair: Country representative from Zimbabwe
• Speakers: Roger Nord, Senior Advisor, African Department, IMF ; country representatives from Mali and Guinea (20 min for each speaker)

• Discussion: (30 min)
12:45 pm–2:00 pm ***Lunch***
2:00 pm–5:15 pm Session 2: Managing volatility and fiscal risks
The session will review the role of fiscal policy in managing external and domestic shocks. It will examine sources of fiscal risks—including macroeconomic volatility, capital inflows, natural disasters and political risks—and how they affect the budget.
2:00 pm–3:30 pm Macroeconomic risks: Challenges for the budget (panel discussion)
• Chair: Country representative from South Africa
• Speakers: Jean-Philippe Stijns, Economist, Africa desk, OECD Development Centre, country representatives from and Sierra Leone (20 min for each speaker)

• Discussion: (45 min)
3:30 pm–3:45 pm ***Tea & coffee***
3:45pm–5:15 pm Dealing with export commodity price shocks—country experiences
• Chair: Country representative from Mali
• Speakers: Kupukile Mlambo, Senior Advisor to the Chief Economist, African Development Bank; country representatives from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi (15 min for each speaker)

• Discussion: (30 min)
6:30 pm–8:00pm Dinner: Keynote speaker: Dr Kasekende, Deputy Governor, Bank of Uganda.

A policymaker's perspective on key fiscal challenges facing Africa
Thursday, November 10, 2011
8:30 am–12:15 pm Session 3: Rebuilding fiscal buffers: Sustainable financing of development
This session will focus on how countries can create fiscal space to finance critical infrastructure and social expenditures. How to ensure that debt sustainability is maintained? What are the strategies for countries with limited access to financing? What are the options for revenue mobilization? How should countries prepare to respond to terms of trade shocks?
8:30 am–10:00 am Fiscal Space and Development Strategies—Country Experiences
• Chair: Country representative from Guinea
• Speakers: Gert van der Linde, Lead FM Specialist, Africa Region, World Bank; country representatives from Benin, and Ghana (20 min for each speaker)

• Discussion: (30 min)
10:00 am–10:15 am ***Tea & coffee***
10:15 am-11:45 am Preparing for the next shock
• Chair: Country representative from Liberia
• Speakers: Thomas Baunsgaard, Deputy Division Chief, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF, David Bevan, University of Oxford and Gabon (20 min for each speaker)

• Discussion: (30 min)
11:45 am–1:15 pm Session 4: Roundtable discussion on fiscal policy priorities
The roundtable will focus on priorities for the fiscal policy going forward in Africa. How can fiscal frameworks be strengthened? What fiscal reforms are needed? How can expenditures be prioritized and what are the challenges in mobilizing revenue?

• Moderator: Sanjeev Gupta, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department, IMF

• Panelists:
- Matthew Simmonds, Deputy Director-General: Budget Office, South African National Treasury
- Roger Nord, Senior Advisor, African Department, IMF
- Willard Manungo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Zimbabwe
-
Edmund Koroma, Financial Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Sierra Leone - Serge-Maurice Pambou, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Gabon