African experts, policymakers urge prudent public sector financial governance

Close-up of a Calculator and Pen on a Financial Newspaper. Blue-toned.

Experts and policymakers have urged African countries and pan African institutions to redouble concerted efforts towards enhancing the management of financial resources in Africa through prudent and accountable public sector financial governance.

They made the call during an ongoing high-level continental Public Financial Management Forum, which runs from October 14 to 16 at the African Union (AU) headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, under the theme “Strengthening public sector accounting in Africa.”

The three-day meeting came on the backdrop of the implementation of the African Union decision on “Financing of the Union,” which seeks predictable, reliable and sustainable domestic resource mobilization by imposing a 0.2 percent levy on eligible imported goods to finance Africa’s 50-year continental development framework Agenda 2063.

Deputy Chairperson of the AU Commission Kwesi Quartey, who acknowledged the significant progress in the continuous improvement of public financial management in many African governments and public sector organizations, also stressed that “the forum is an opportune platform to strengthen the capacity for financial reforms in the continent.”

“The huge depletion of the resources in the continent through corruption and illicit financial flows, funds he noted could be rededicated to social, political and economic transformation,” Quartey said.

“We must, individually and collectively, come up with valuable lessons to drive and promote public sector accountability and ensure prudent and sound financial management for Africa to realize its inclusive growth and sustainable development,” the AU Commission Deputy Chairperson added.

The AU’s financial reforms have so far led to various significant realizations at the AU, including the decrease of the annual budget for 2019 and 2020, compared to previous budgets and a substantial increase in the share of AU member states contribution to the budget compared to partner funding.

According to the 55-member pan African bloc, to complement these efforts, accountability and sound public financial governance at the AU and its member states, have remained a critical element towards the management of financial resources in the continent.

Ethiopia’s State Minister of Finance, Admasu Nebebe, also emphasized the need for Africa to implement “effective public financial systems noting that this would in a large way, enhance macro-economic stability, effective use of available resources and promotion of growth through pro-poor investments.”

Nebebe, who noted the ongoing economic reforms in Ethiopia, also underscored strengthened public sector financial management as “a pivotal instrument” to enable the country enhance public investment efficiency and increase operational performance of state-owned enterprises.

“We hope that continued public sector accounting reforms in Africa will instill discipline in public finance management, curb corruption, improve service delivery, stimulate economic growth and ensure transparency,” the state minister said.

“These are key catalysts towards the achievement of Agenda 2063,” he added. Enditem

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