Zim to benefit from Afritac South development activities

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ZIMBABWE and other countries in the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) are set to benefit from capacity development activities offered by the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa (Afritac South).

Report by Business Reporter

Afritac South is one of eight regional IMF technical assistance centres 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 its steering committee meeting for the region held in Namibia last week, it was agreed that the centre, established in June 2011, had achieved good progress towards its result-oriented medium-term objectives for the financial year to April 30, 2013.

The centre is set to further increase its capacity development activities in FY2014, thanks to the additional funding.

The centre serves Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

In a joint statement, Afritac South Steering Committee and Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance of Namibia, chairman I-Ben Nashandi, and Afritac South Coordinator Vitaliy Kramarenko said the centre 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 towards achievement of the medium-term objectives to improve compliance with international standards and good practices in the centre’s core areas of expertise,” noted Nashandi and Kramarenko.

“The steering committee endorsed the work programme 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 centre’s results-based management framework.”

Additional funding, according to the committee, had increased opportunities for scaling up the centre’s activities.

Sadc 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 reviewed progress towards 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 realise these synergies.”

The Afritac South Steering Committee meeting was attended by officials from 10 Afritac South member countries including Zimbabwe.