CABRI was started in 2004 by budget officials in Mozambique, South Africa and Uganda. After interactions and exchanges between various officials, a seminar on budget reform was organised in South Africa in December 2004. A key objective of the seminar was to put forward a firm proposal for the establishment of a professional network that would support senior budget officials in Africa in the execution of their duties.
In 2006, the Management Committee resolved to establish CABRI as a formal network that would be independent in its operations and in the discharge of its functions through an international legal agreement. During the following months, an international agreement was drafted and negotiated between various countries.
In June 2007, after two rounds of negotiations, the legal agreement was finalised and signed by six countries that became CABRI founding members: Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa. The international agreement establishing CABRI as an independent entity is available in English, French and Portuguese. CABRI is grateful to the UNECA for its support during the negotiations on CABRI's International Agreement.
In May 2008, CABRI was officially launched and the network proceeded to establish the required institutions, mainly the rules of procedures.
In 2008 and 2009, the founding members have ratified the international agreement according to their domestic procedures.
3 December November 2009 marks the beginning of the operations of CABRI as an international organisation.