Press Release: The IMF’s AFRITAC West 2 to Ramp up Capacity Development Activities

April 17, 2015

Press Release No. 15/172
April 17, 2015

The IMF’s regional technical assistance center AFRITAC West 2 held its 2nd Steering Committee meeting in Ghana on Monday, April 13.

In his opening remarks, the Chair of the Steering Committee and Minister of Finance for Ghana Mr. Seth Terkper noted that while the center’s member countries have made strides over the last decade in terms of economic stability and growth, they continue to face important challenges in their quest to build capacity and implement much-needed reforms. AFRITAC West 2 has made progress in the implementation of capacity building projects envisaged in the first year of its operations, notwithstanding the difficulties created by the outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in two of the center’s member countries. This was made possible through generous funding from donors and the commitment of the center’s member countries to strengthen their institutions.

The Minister added that the center’s operations are likely to show increased activity in the coming financial year thanks to a strong demand for capacity building services from member countries. “Ghana, as the host country of AFRITAC West 2, is committed to supporting the center. I urge AFRITAC West 2 to continue collaborating with regional bodies, like ECOWAS, the West Africa Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), and the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) on issues such as the implementation of the common external tariff. There is also a need to foster complementarities and avoid duplication of capacity building efforts. In this respect, like other member countries, Ghana views capacity building to foster regional integration as an area of priority.”

He expressed his appreciation to AFRITAC West 2 donors for their generous contributions to the center and thanked the staff for their work and concerted and collaborative efforts. AFRITAC West 2’s donors include the African Development Bank, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, the European Investment Bank and Switzerland.

The Coordinator of the Center Mr. Lamin Leigh noted that as a new center, AFRITAC West 2 continues to work closely with other regional organizations engaged in capacity building. In the period ahead, the Center will remain responsive to member countries evolving needs and ensure the delivery of capacity building support in its core areas of expertise.

The Steering Committee meeting noted that the Regional Technical Assistance Center (RTAC) is a good model for providing Technical Assistance to various member countries and encouraged AFRITAC West 2 to further refine its approach, taking into account the recent mid-term evaluations of the other RTACs in sub-Saharan Africa. The Steering Committee also encouraged the Center to use more peer-to-peer learning in its capacity building work and collaborate with local institutions to make capacity building more self sustaining. The need for collaboration among government agencies to champion improvements in statistics across the various countries was also emphasized.

The Center became operational on January 13, 2014 and serves Cabo Verde, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and The Gambia. AFRITAC West 2 complements four other centers the IMF has in sub-Saharan Africa and offers capacity building services to member countries in its core area of expertise: revenue administration, management of public finances, monetary operations and payment system, financial sector supervision and regulation and macroeconomic statistics.


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