Promoting Good Financial Governance in Africa

Project description

Title: Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Africa, transnational (located in South Africa)
Lead executing agency: South African National Treasury
Partner: Finance Ministers in African Member States
Overall term: 2005 to 2012

Senior African Budget Officials during a seminar

Context

Good financial governance is an essential contributor to social and economic growth and is therefore a central component of public reform efforts. Many African countries recognise that improving financial governance strengthens government accountability, leads to improved service delivery outcomes and thereby contributes to development goals.

Against this backdrop, South Africa, Mozambique and Uganda initiated the launch of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) in 2004 as a professional network of senior budget officials in African Ministries of Finance or Planning. CABRI’s main objective is to promote efficient and effective management of public finances to foster economic growth and enhance service delivery for the improvement of living standards of African people.

Today, CABRI is an independent international legal organisation. Its Secretariat is based in Pretoria, South Africa. Since 2004, more than 35 African countries have participated in CABRI activities. Eight countries have officially acceded to the organisation and several others have expressed their interest to join. The network’s key strategic objectives are to:

  • enhance peer learning on public financial management reforms between African countries
  • commission research on budget systems, budget management of aid flows and fiscal and budget policy
  • advance the development of member states by building capacity and promoting training and research
  • develop and promote common African positions on issues of good public finance management that are of interest to Africa

The network focuses on the exchange of knowledge and experience on budgetary planning, implementation and monitoring, and on the configuration of budget reform processes.

Objective

The project aims at supporting the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative in establishing itself as a productive, relevant and responsive international organisation that promotes efficient and effective management of public finances.

Approach

GIZ has supported CABRI since 2005. It views CABRI as a unique programme and assisted it in becoming a fully fledged international organisation. The support centres on strengthening CABRI’s Secretariat, which acts as the engine room for planning, managing and implementing the results of the network. The Secretariat focuses on establishing an internal structure for the CABRI network, making expertise available on a long-term basis and supporting capacity development of senior budget officials on aspects of public financial management and accountability in member countries.

GIZ has been providing technical assistance, short term consultancies, financial contributions and administrative support to CABRI meetings, events, studies and publications. Additionally, GIZ has contributed the services of long-term advisors and supported the thematic work of consultants at the CABRI Secretariat since 2006.

As of 2013 the technical support to CABRI is being implemented by the Good Financial Governance in Africa programme.

Results achieved so far

By setting up systems, rules and procedures for the management of the network, GIZ has helped to consolidate the Secretariat’s institutional strength. It has managed to sustainably enhance the administrative and technical capabilities of the Secretariat and has supported the work of the Management Committee and management structures of the network.

Through a dedicated leadership and with technical support provided by GIZ CABRI’s position and role in the African and global debate on Good Financial Governance was strengthened. As a result CABRI has become a well known and well sought after address, when it comes to questions in the field of Good Financial Governance and Public Finance Management.

Indicative of this is CABRI’s lead role in developing an African Declaration on good financial governance jointly with the African Development Bank and other technical networks such as the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI) and the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF). This declaration will set new benchmarks for good financial governance in Africa. Further to that CABRI plays an important role in promoting an African voice on aid transparency. In so doing, CABRI contributes substantially to the current Aid Effectiveness debate leading to the High Level Forum 4 in Busan, South Korea, which is the next stage of the international global dialogue on principles of international cooperation.

On a more technical note GIZ has supported CABRI in the creation of a content management system where all relevant documentation is made easily available to the Secretariat and participating member states. The database component will eventually create a resource centre that will enhance the collection, sorting and dissemination of information relevant to the daily work of senior budget officers in Africa.

Participants of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative’s 5th annual seminar on ‘Strengthening Budget Practices in Africa’ that took place Dakar, Senegal, in April 2009

African countries and CABRI member states in particular, engage on a regular basis in peer-learning activities and are exposed to a wider resource base supported by GIZ’s technical advice and funding. As a result, professional networking based on trust, respect and an understanding of different country systems and experiences is providing Senior Budget Officials with innovative frameworks and African solutions to implement public finance management and budget reforms.