The current pandemic will have long lasting implications in countries’ public finances. Responding to the health crisis and to its economic and social downfalls undoubtedly requires strong PFM systems to develop and implement health and economic relief measures, namely in expenditure planning, cash management, procurement and accounting, in order to ensure effectiveness and efficiency of spending.
For many countries in Africa, the crisis comes at a time where PFM systems are already under strain, with limited capabilities to respond to existing social and economic needs.
CABRI launched the Building Public Finance Capabilities Programme, an applied programme where country-teams of government officials identify pressing public finance problems they will be working towards solving in the upcoming months. The programme provides a space for teams to consider and address public finance problems that have been left unaddressed for many years and that the current crisis has often aggravated. Yet, this might be an opportune time to identify weaknesses in PFM systems and obtain support for pushing much needed reforms.
Over the next two weeks, country teams from the Central African Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Nigeria and The Gambia will attend a framing workshop, where they will further refine and unpack their nominated problems. These range from issues around revenue collection, cash management systems, allocative decisions in the budget process and efficiency and effectiveness of service delivery.
As many of the teams and the Secretariat are unable to travel, the workshop will be held online, allowing CABRI to continue supporting countries in their much-needed reform efforts.