The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank authorized, on Wednesday in Abidjan, the creation of a Virtual Public Financial Management Academy for Africa (PFMA). The academy will be a virtual capacity building platform for African countries, across the entire public finance management cycle and ecosystem. Support in the form of training, technical assistance and policy dialogue will be given to countries through structured, targeted and dedicated capacity building programmes.
The academy housed within the African Development Bank Group’s African Development Institute will deepen partnership with the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and African countries to improve public financial management practices in Africa. Other implementing partners include key regional public financial management institutions, regional technical assistance centers for Africa, universities and national public administration training institutes.
The training, technical assistance and policy dialogue provided by the Academy will cover issues upstream and downstream of the public finance management cycle, tailored to the specific needs of African countries.
The training modules will notably cover: macroeconomics and planning, fiscal policy forecasting and modelling, prudential budgeting and expenditure management, domestic and external revenue mobilization, debt management and transparency, public-private partnerships in the management of public finances, the strengthening of systems of control and superior accountability, and the fight against corruption and illicit financial flows. In addition, cross-cutting issues will also be taken into account, including institutional, legal, regulatory governance, processes and human capacities.
The beneficiaries of the trainings cover the entire African civil service, including technical and political leaders who have the power to influence and change the public financial management systems of African countries. Thus, the Academy will welcome technical managers of public finance management and senior officials from ministries of finance, national planning, budget directorates, debt management, and revenue-generating agencies, including tax and customs administrations. In addition, the Academy will target all officials involved in the expenditure chain (officials from national treasuries, administrative and financial departments of ministries responsible for expenditure and financial controllers), officials from central banks and sectoral ministries such as of the environment. Also targeted are relevant agencies, parliamentarians, academics, private sector leaders and civil society organizations as well as think tanks.
The Academy will also provide the necessary technical assistance to relevant institutions responsible for public finance management. It will seek out and establish partnerships with national public administration training institutes in countries, in order to effectively deliver tailor-made capacity building programs for civil servants.
Kevin Chika Urama, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank Group in charge of Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, said: “The creation of the Virtual Academy of Public Financial Management for Africa will go a long way in addressing long-standing capacity gaps in public financial management practices in African countries. It will enable the Bank to leverage the resources (know-how, skills and financing) of sister multilateral development banks, international and African public financial management institutions, to provide state-of-the-art training, technical assistance and training. policy advice that is rooted in the local realities of African countries. I am very grateful to all the partners who have worked with us to design this transformative Academy for Africa”.
The policy dialogue component of the program will engage high-level decision makers and policymakers tasked with designing and promoting the expected change in public financial management systems in Africa.
The technical assistance component will target relevant public institutions or their units, civil society organizations, and think tanks, involved in public financial management activities in Africa, including the media.
When fully operational, the Academy’s standard training courses can be offered to interested parties as formal Master’s level modules, at preferential rates.
The Bank will set up a policy laboratory unit made up of international experts in public finance management who will be the faculty members. Members of the Policy Lab Unit, who will be selected on an as needed basis, will be recruited from the Bank, multilateral, bilateral and regional institutions, African universities and think tanks as well as experts individual international specialists on the main subjects.
Each institutional member of the Academy will provide specialized interventions according to its mandate and comparative advantage.