Promoting Transparent and Responsible use of Public Finances in Africa

Project description

Title: Good Financial Governance in Africa Programme (GFG II)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Africa-wide (offices in Pretoria, South Africa; Yaoundé, Cameroon)
Lead executing agency: Pan-African networks of: Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI), Tax Administrations (ATAF), Finance Ministries’ budget departments (CABRI) and parliamentary public accounts committees (AFROPAC).
Overall term: 2019 to 2022

Good Financial Governance in Africa.  © GIZ

Context

The State’s ability to provide better public services such as education, healthcare, sanitation and security, depends on the transparent and efficient management of public finances. Many African countries face challenges in effectively managing their financial resources and some governments are unable to mobilise adequate revenue and budget execution, which remains difficult as there are shortcomings in transparency and accountability. Good financial governance involves the promotion of transparency and accountability in the management of public resources. It represents a significant contribution to the delivery of services by governments to citizens. Public contributions to the treasury through taxes, should be accounted for to provide efficient public services by the State.

Objective

Decision-makers in African public finance use region-specific services, products and education offers to improve good financial governance.

Good Financial Governance in Africa. © GIZ

Approach

GIZ implements the Good Financial Governance (GFG) in Africa programme on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).  The programme cooperates with regional public financial management networks and provides technical advice, training and support for peer learning in order to strengthen the knowledge and skills of decision-makers, in the below areas:

Tax policy and administration: To foster effective tax administrations in Africa, the programme supports the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) in: Organisational development of its Secretariat; the review and development of products as well as services for its members that respond to their needs and demands.

Budget reform: This component works with the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) to develop and implement reforms that lead to more functional Public Financial Management (PFM) systems. The support encompasses peer learning and exchange, using the Problem-Driven and Iterative Approaches (PDIA) to solve context-specific PFM challenges in member countries.

External Audit: African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI), is an Africa-wide network that promotes the exchange of ideas and experiences between member Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs) in public financial control and auditing of public organisations. GIZ supports AFROSAI and its linguistic subgroups AFROSAI-E (English speaking) and CREFIAF (French speaking) in developing solutions to strengthen the institutional capacity of members as well as promoting women equality at SAIs.

Legislative Oversight: The main institutions responsible for exercising legislative oversight are specialised committees such as finance, budget and public accounts committees (PACs). GFG in Africa programme aims at strengthening capacities of such institutions to fulfil their constitutional role by supporting technical expertise, networking and peer learning.

African Voice on good financial governance/liaison with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Africa Regional Technical Assistance Centers (AFRITACs): GFG in Africa programme supports technical discussions with relevant public finance stakeholders. It facilitates collaboration between ATAF, CABRI, AFROSAI and AFROPAC. It also participates in Steering Committee Meetings of the IMF AFRITACs to strengthen synergies between GIZ bilateral programmes and regional organisations.

Support in Combatting Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs): Within the African Voice on Good Financial Governance, GFG in Africa programme aims to strengthen dialogue among its partner networks on IFFs. The four Networks (ATAF, AFROPAC, AFROSAI and CABRI) agreed to reinforce their collaboration in combating IFFs and pilot the Country Risk Profile (CRP) Assessment Tool in four African countries.

  Good Financial Governance in Africa. The report “Joint Environmental Audit on the Drying up of Lake Chad” is handed over to Chadian President Idriss Déby during the May 2015 launch of the audit report in N’Djamena. © GIZ

Results

The programme has supported development of an Executive Master’s degree course on tax policy and administration in collaboration with ATAF. Since its inception in 2014, 84 Anglophone and Francophone African tax officials have participated in the programme. In the area of cross-border exchange of tax information, Cameroon and Uganda have been identified as pilot countries for the implementation of automatic exchange of information, effective from 2021.

The programme supported CABRI in building PFM capabilities program where fifteen teams from nine African countries successfully took part in the programme in 2017 and 2018. This program is based on the PDIA approach, developed by the Harvard Centre for International Development to build capabilities for implementing policies and programs. Furthermore, CABRI is supported in providing up-to-date and regular information and analysis on African national budgets, which allow for access to publicly available budget documentation for African countries.

AFROSAI conducted several cooperative audits on environmental issues such as the drying up of Lake Chad, coastal and marine management, local waste management and the Congo forest basin audit. These audits allow African SAIs to tackle cross-border issues of regional significance. The English-speaking linguistic sub-group AFROSAI-E developed the PFM Reporting Framework, an audit methodology to assess the performance of public financial management processes holistically along the whole budget cycle. The framework is being implemented in Africa and other countries like Brazil and Portugal have also adopted this tool. In addressing gender gap in SAIs, AFROSAI and GIZ developed the Women Leadership Academy (WLA) and 28 female leaders participated in the 10-month course in 2018.

GIZ supported AFROPAC’s development of their Strategic Plan 2018-2023 and the Pan-African positions in fighting against corruption and IFFs. The support included increasing the capacity of parliaments to oversee the performance of government, strategic advisory during the general meetings, international conferences, developing resolutions for national implementation and intended upscaling to the African Union with other relevant stakeholders.

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