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Archive for February 16th, 2014

IMF Organizes Workshop on Medium Term Budget Frameworks for East African Officials

Posted by African Press International on February 16, 2014

NAIROBI, Kenya, February 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ The International Monetary Fund’s Fiscal Affairs Department and Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center East (AFRITAC East) held a workshop on “Medium Term Budget Frameworks (MTBFs) for Sub-Saharan Africa” (SSA) in Nairobi during the period January 27 – 31, 2014.

Twenty-nine officials from finance and planning ministries representing AFRITAC East member countries (Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, including Zanzibar and Uganda) attended the seminar. Mr. Neil Cole, Executive Secretary of the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) also participated.

The workshop facilitators explored with participants how binding MTBFs can enhance fiscal discipline and improve funding predictability for line Ministries in order to facilitate the achievement of strategic objectives. The prerequisites, however, are to have credible annual budgets; strong institutional frameworks including a supporting legal environment; reliable macro-economic and fiscal projections; and a fully integrated planning and budgeting process. Topics of discussion included: an assessment of MTBFs in Sub-Saharan Africa; constructing multi-year expenditure ceilings; medium term fiscal framework; fiscal objectives and fiscal rules; reconciling planning with budgeting; budget documentation and budget framework papers; budget institutions and processes; constructing a sector/ministry-level budget projection. Participants shared the challenges they faced in developing MTBFs and the seminar provided an opportunity for peer learning.

The workshop was opened by Mr. Samuel Kiiru, from the National Treasury of Kenya. He spoke about the challenges Kenya faces in implementing reforms and underscored the necessity of commitment both at political and technical levels. Mrs. Phyllis Makau, Director of the Kenya Parliamentary Budget Office, discussed the opportunities presented by the new legal framework and the challenges of overlapping mandates among the budgetary institutions.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr. Justus Nyamunga, Director of the Economic Affairs Department of the National Treasury of Kenya underlined the necessity of binding forward estimates linked to program-based budget (PBB) to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of public expenditures.

Ms. Florence Kuteesa, and Tawfik Ramtoolah, both technical assistance advisors in the IMF’s Fiscal Affairs Department and AFRITAC East, indicated that they would continue to engage with the participants in the design of the suggested complementary courses, notably in the following areas: construction of baseline for the MTBF, macro-fiscal framework, program based budgeting including monitoring and evaluation.

 

SOURCE

International Monetary Fund (IMF)

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Erastus Mwencha to the South Sudanese parties’: The African Union will assist you, but the solution is between your hands

Posted by African Press International on February 16, 2014

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, February 13, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ – The African Union Commission’ s Deputy Chairperson, Mr Erastus Mwencha, in the opening of the second round of peace talks, session of the peace talks, held in Addis Ababa on the 11th February 2014 expressed the readiness of African Union (AU) to provide the necessary assistance in the commencement of the broad and inclusive dialogue appealing all South Sudanese parties to provide the necessary leadership in placing the interest of their young country above narrow political considerations.

Speaking on behalf of the AUC Chairperson, Mwencha welcomed the resumption of the talks, and mentioned that the AU is encouraged to note that both parties are making diligent efforts to fulfill the commitments they entered into following of the two agreements on session of hostilities and the status of the detainees signed in Addis Ababa on 23 January 2014. “I welcome the release of seven detainees and hope that the process required for the release of the remaining four will be expedite so as to allow them join their brothers and sisters in these talks” Mwencha said.

The African Union Commission’ s Deputy Chairperson underscored that the AU, in partnership with IGAD, will continue to provide the necessary assistance in the political dialogue noting meanwhile, that “the opportunity, the will and the responsibility for finding such a solution which are here today are in the hands of South Sudanese”.

Ethiopian Prime Minister and current Chairman of the East Africa regional bloc (IGAD),

Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn attend the opening of peace talks in Addis Ababa with Ethiopian foreign minister and the AU representative, the three mediator and South Sudan government as well as rebel chief negotiators.

 

SOURCE

African Union Commission (AUC)

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