The Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa (AFRITAC South1) met during April 5–6, 2013 in Windhoek, Namibia and agreed that the center, which was established in June 2011, has achieved good progress toward its result-oriented medium-term objectives for the financial year to April 30, 2013 (FY2013). The center is on course to broadly double its capacity development activities during the course of the year. The Steering Committee endorsed the center’s work program for the coming financial year starting May 2013 (FY2014) and welcomed additional financing recently secured from European Union regional funds for the Southern African Development Community (SADC), from Germany, and from European Union funds for Africa, Caribbean and Pacific countries. The center is set to further increase its capacity development activities in FY2014 thanks to the additional funding.
AFRITAC South is one of eight regional IMF technical assistance centers around the world and offers capacity building services to member countries in its core areas of expertise, namely public financial management, revenue administration, financial sector supervision, and real sector statistics.
At the conclusion of the Steering Committee Meeting, Mr. I-Ben Nashandi, Chairman of the AFRITAC South Steering Committee and Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Namibia, and Mr. Vitaliy Kramarenko, AFRITAC South Coordinator, made the following joint statement:
“AFRITAC South is on course to broadly double its technical assistance and training activities in the financial year to April 2013 (FY2013). Members of the Steering Committee noted good progress toward achievement of the medium-term objectives to improve compliance with international standards and good practices in the center’s core areas of expertise. They also shared a view that the center continued to provide timely and relevant technical assistance and training, which helped its member countries strengthen institutions in the face of a sluggish global recovery.
“The Steering Committee endorsed the Work Program for FY2014, which focuses on the continuation of multi-year projects initiated during 2011–13 and the initiation of new projects on medium-term fiscal frameworks and financial sector supervision. Members of the Steering Committee underscored the importance of ownership of reform measures supported by AFRITAC South in achieving the medium-term objectives set out in the center’s results-based management framework.
“Additional funding has increased opportunities for scaling up the center’s activities. SADC has recently pledged part of the EU regional funds (€5 million) to AFRITAC South, Germany has signed a contribution agreement for (€1.9 million), and the European Union has pledged to contribute additional funds from its Africa, Caribbean and Pacific funds. Members of the Steering Committee noted that AFRITAC South staff would propose a further scaling up of the center’s technical assistance and training closer to the initial program levels (as envisaged in the center’s program document) by May or June 2013, with a significant impact on FY2014 activities.
“Members of the Steering Committee reviewed progress toward establishment of the IMF’s new Africa Training Institute (ATI) in Mauritius. They acknowledged significant potential synergies between AFRITACs’ and ATI’s activities and broadly agreed that the proposed joint management of AFRITAC South and ATI would help realize these synergies.”
The AFRITAC South Steering Committee meeting was attended by officials from 10 AFRITAC South member countries: Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe. IMF staff also took part, along with representatives of donors and regional organizations: the African Development Bank, Australian Agency for International Development (AusAid), and UK Government Department for International Development (DFID), European Union, German International Cooperation (GIZ), and Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs.