A regional programme will support integration and mobilization of domestic resources in Central Africa

Apr 24, 2015

Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa: “Management of public budgets based on performance, as well as practices of transparency and accountability are at the heart of achieving development”. Photo: UNDP

The European Union, France and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), will support the Commission of the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC) and eight Central African countries through a new regional program of public finance reforms and domestic resource mobilization.

The objective of this initiative is to strengthen the Commission's capacity in steering the reforms at regional level and support their implementation in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of Congo, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo and Sao Tome and Principe.

The launch of this program occurs after the adoption in 2011 by the CEMAC Council of Ministers of six new directives renovating the Harmonized Framework for Public Finances in the Member States of the monetary union. This framework, which promotes modern, effective and transparent management of public finances, is allowing countries to better manage their revenue, expenditure and budgetary processes, which is critical to the achievement of their development plans.

“We have produced an action plan for implementing the directives. A new Directorate of public finances was created in 2013 within the Commission in order to provide leadership and advice to Member States” recalled Paul Tasong, Commissioner for Department of economic, monetary and financial of the CEMAC.

“The management of public budgets based on performance, as well as practices of transparency and accountability, are at the heart of achieving development. These are good governance principles that foster a growth trajectory that is sustainable and inclusive” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Director of the UNDP Regional Bureau for Africa.

The implementation of the “public finance” and “tax and customs” components of the Programme in Support of Commerce and Economic Integration (PACIE), funded by the European Union, is managed by the CEMAC Commission. “The European Union wants to contribute to improving the integration of the economies of Central Africa. We are convinced that the PACIE can facilitate the integration and development of this part of Africa in the global economy, so as to induce real poverty reduction” said Françoise Collet in Yaounde, Ambassador, Head of Delegation of the European Union in Cameroon.

The workshop, attended by representatives of national authorities, control bodies, civil society, private sector as well as technical and financial partners, was held under the chairmanship of the representative of the Minister of Finance of Cameroon. “We think that this program is of critical importance for Cameroun and we welcome the international cooperation on this project” he said.

The Division for Development Strategies and Public Finance will provide expertise and technical support to the Commission in the implementation of actions under the two components, during a 25-month period.

To achieve this, the Division will use technical assistance and will draw on expertise from regional networks, focus on training of trainers and foster sharing of experiences.

In Cameroon and Gabon, government officials will be trained in the new functions generated by innovative forms of public management, and will be accompanied in conducting the change stemming from these reforms.

Parliamentarians of Congo Brazzaville and Equatorial Guinea will benefit from training on the reform of public finances. Exchange workshops between several organizations of civil society will take place to discuss transparency and accountability of public action. This aims to promote the contribution of civil society to the democratic debate, relaying public expectations, including better access to information, improved public services or larger and more equitable access to national resources.

Mobilization of additional domestic resources for development is the second component of the supports. “The other challenge of the CEMAC is to successfully implement the fiscal transition” said Marc Trouyet, Deputy Director of democratic governance at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. “In a context of declining external resources, including ODA, a good use of taxation means more domestic resources available to finance national development policies”.

During the workshop, participants discussed the reform strategies, validated in a participatory manner the actions planned in 2015 and issued recommendations for the interventions planned in 2016-2017 in sound coordination with technical and financial partners on the ground.

Contact information

Ophelie Mussetta, Communication Officer, Division ‘Development Strategies and Public Finance, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, Tel : (221) 77 332 12 43, ophelie.mussetta@undp.org

Mamadou Issa Baba, Head of public finance project, CEMAC Commision, Tél : (+237) 676102008 ; Email : ababa@yahoo.fr

Bibiane Ndah, Communications Analyst, UNDP Cameroon, (+237) 22 20 08 00,bibiane.nadh@undp.org

David Atemkeng, Press and Information Officer, European Union Delegation in Cameroon, Tel : (237) 75 02 92 66, david.atemkeng@eeas.europa.eu

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