AfDB’s new economic governance strategy calls for bold public finance reforms


AMID is concerned about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on most African economies, the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Friday launched its Strategy for Economic Governance in Africa (SEGA), which aims to encourage governments and transparent and accountable institutions to secure inclusive and sustainable development.

Emeka Anuforo, Communication and External Relations Department, AfDB, explained in a statement that the strategy proposes bold reforms in public financial management to eliminate revenue leakage and ensure efficient, productive and transparent use of scarce resources. .

The reforms, he explained, came amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic which exposed the weakness of African countries’ public financial management and service delivery, as well as their vulnerability to shocks. exogenous.

“This event comes at a crucial time as African countries seek to recover from the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. It is difficult for Africa to take off without transparent and accountable governments and strong institutions capable of driving a rapid, sustainable and inclusive recovery and ensuring economic resilience ”, said Vera Esperança dos Santos Daves, Angolan Minister of Finance during the virtual launch of the strategy. Government ministers and representatives of the private sector, universities and international institutions participated.

In a speech read on her behalf by Secretary of State for the Treasury and Finance Ottoniel Santos, the Minister described the Strategy as “an important step”.

“We are very pleased that this will help promote public sector efficiency at national and sub-national levels, thus spurring structural transformation across the continent and ensuring that our citizens participate in public sector governance,” she said. declared.

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SEGA also offers stricter anti-corruption measures in the public and private sectors. This includes putting in place systems to monitor and hold governments accountable for the delivery of public service and the elimination of corrupt practices.

“The African Development Bank itself is uniquely placed to implement this new strategy, drawing on its unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the African context, as well as on the Bank’s credentials in the field of good governance, ”said Swazi Tshabalala, director of the African Development Bank. Acting Senior Vice-President.

Tshabalala expressed optimism that governments will adopt the reforms recommended in the SEGA “at this critical time, the African economy is preparing to rebuild”.

“The quality of life of our fellow citizens depends on it. The future of our continent depends on it, ”she added.

The strategy paper also describes interventions aimed at strengthening national resource mobilization of African governments, even as responses to the pandemic have increased debt levels and harmed economic productivity. Better governance should enable countries to strengthen macroeconomic stability, foster a conducive business environment and improve the efficiency of public spending and investment, according to the strategy paper.

SEGA will cover the period 2021-2025.

Abdoulaye Coulibaly, AfDB Director of Governance and Public Financial Management, said the strategy document refocuses the Bank’s core priorities on the most effective areas for improvement.

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“With SEGA, we consolidate our past successes and build on the lessons learned from our experience working on governance,” he said.

SEGA was developed in consultation with governments and non-state actors across Africa. It replaces the Bank’s Governance Strategic Framework and Action Plan (GAP-II), which covered the period 2014-2020.

About a fifth of the Bank’s loan portfolio covers governance projects, including public macroeconomic and financial management, sector governance and improving the business climate.

Over the past three years, the Bank has approved 80 governance projects totaling $ 7.85 billion.

The Strategy for Economic Governance in Africa is available here.

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