The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank on Wednesday approved the creation of a virtual academy to build public financial management capacity in African countries. Countries will receive technical assistance through structured, targeted, dedicated and local training as well as through policy dialogue.
The academy, hosted within the African Development Institute of the African Development Bank Group, will deepen partnerships with the International Monetary Fund, the 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 centres, universities, and national public administration training institutes.
The training, technical assistance and policy dialogue delivered by the academy will cover upstream and downstream issues in the public financial management cycle, tailored to the specific needs of African countries.
The training modules will cover, among others: 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 public finance management; strengthening supreme audit and accountability systems; and curbing corruption and illicit financial flows. In addition, cross-cutting issues will also be taken into account, including institutional, legal, and regulatory processes and human capacity governance.
The beneficiaries of the training 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 public finance managers and senior officials from the ministries of finance, national planning, budget directorates, debt management directorates, 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 directorates of ministries responsible for expenditure and financial control), officials from central banks and sectoral ministries such as 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, to effectively deliver tailor-made capacity building programs for civil servants.
Prof. Kevin Chika Urama, Acting Chief Economist and Vice President for Economic Governance and Knowledge Management of the African Development Bank, said: “The establishment of the Public Finance Management Academy will go a long way in addressing the long-standing capacity gaps in public financial management practices across African countries. It will enable the Bank to leverage resources (skills, competencies, and finance) from sister multilateral development banks, international and African public financial management institutions to provide cutting-edge training, technical assistance and policy advice, embedded in the local realities of African countries. I am very grateful to all partners who 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 responsible for designing and promoting the expected change in African public financial management systems.
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 courses will be offered to interested parties as certified post-graduate programs at preferential rates.
The Bank will establish a Policy Laboratory Unit comprised of certified global experts on public financial management who will be the faculty members to deliver the courses. The members of the Policy Laboratory Unit, who will be retained on a needs basis, will be enlisted from the Bank Group, multilateral institutions, bilateral and regional institutions, African universities and think tanks, and individual experts on key subjects of interest.
Each institutional member of the academy will provide specialized interventions according to its mandate and comparative advantage.