IMF Regional Technical Assistance Centers

March 23, 2016

A global network of regional technical assistance centers in the Pacific, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Central America helps countries strengthen human and institutional capacity to design and implement policies that promote growth and reduce poverty. The centers focus on financial sector supervision, tax and customs administration, medium-term expenditure frameworks and public financial management, money markets and monetary policy frameworks, and macroeconomic statistics—topics key to helping countries advance toward sustainable development goals.

A Regional Approach

The IMF‘s regional approach to capacity development—technical assistance and training—allows for better tailoring of assistance to the particular needs of a region, closer coordination with other assistance providers, and an enhanced ability to respond quickly to emerging needs. It also fosters regional integration.

The Pacific and Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Centers

The Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC), established in Suva, Fiji, in 1993, now serves 16 Pacific island countries and territories, including the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tokelau,Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Its current program cycle is funded by the Asian Development Bank, Australia, the European Union, the IMF, Korea, New Zealand, and the host country Fiji.

The Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center (CARTAC) was established in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2001. It serves 20 Caribbean countries and territories, including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and Turks and Caicos. Its current program cycle is funded by Australia, Canada, the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Union, the United Kingdom, the host country Barbados, member countries, and the IMF.

The South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center

The South Asia Regional Training and Technical Assistance Center (SARTTAC) will begin operations in 2017. This will be the first center that fully integrates training and technical assistance and is a model for our future capacity development work. Located in Delhi, India, SARTTAC is expected to become the focal point for planning, coordinating, and implementing the IMF’s capacity development activities in the region. The Center will help address existing and forthcoming technical assistance needs in Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, combining these activities with customized training. India, the Republic of Korea, and Australia have already committed to contributing to SARTTAC.

The African Regional Technical Assistance Centers

The African Regional Technical Assistance Centers are part of the IMF’s Africa Capacity-Building Initiative, launched in May 2002. Responding to calls from African leaders, including under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Initiative promotes strengthening the capacity of African countries to design and implement their poverty-reducing strategies, as well as to improve the coordination of capacity building in the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) process. The centers’ activities take place in close cooperation with the African Development Bank and donor partners. This facilitates a coordinated design, implementation, and monitoring of ongoing technical assistance programs in member countries.

As part of the Initiative, five African Regional Technical Assistance Centers (AFRITACs) have been established. AFRITAC East was opened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2002, and now serves seven countries in East Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). AFRITAC West—which operated in Bamako, Mali, since 2003 and moved to Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, in mid-2012—serves ten countries in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo). AFRITAC Central was opened in Libreville, Gabon, in 2007, to serve countries in the CEMAC group (Gabon, Cameroon, Chad, Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, and Equatorial Guinea), plus Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo. AFRITAC South, based in Ebene, Mauritius, was opened in June 2011, to serve 13 countries in Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe). AFRITAC West 2, based in Accra, Ghana, started operations in December 2013, covering the non-francophone countries from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that are not served by the current AFRITAC West: Cape Verde, The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.

The AFRITACs are financed by contributions from a number of donor partners, the IMF, and host and member countries. Current partners include the African Development Bank, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, the European Investment Bank, the European Union, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center

The Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center (METAC) was established in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2004 to serve ten countries/territories in the Middle East (Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen). Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, and Djibouti join the center in May 2016. A particular focus of METAC is to help post-conflict countries in the region achieve macroeconomic stability and develop basic institutions for policymaking. METAC’s current program cycle is financed by contributions from the European Investment Bank, the European Union, France, Germany, the IMF, Kuwait, Oman, the United States, the host country Lebanon, and member countries.

The Central America, Panama, and the Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Center

The Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Center (CAPTAC-DR) started operations in May 2009 in Guatemala City, Guatemala. It serves Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The second program cycle—which commenced in July 2014—is supported by the European Union, Canada, Mexico, Luxembourg, the host country and member countries, and a firm pledge by the Inter-American Development Bank.