West Africa: Regional Monetary Course Underway in Banjul

The West African Institute for Economic Management (WAIFEM) is currently holding a five day regional Public Financial Management Course on Debt, Budgeting, Planning and Performance. The course is designed to focus on the expenditure side of Public Financial Management (PFM) and to look at budgeting, accountability and the changes in financial management amongst others.

Dr. Baba Y. Musa, Director General of WAIFEM, said the institute was established in 1996 and it has since executed 756 courses that has benefited 20,260 participants from founding Member States.

"The institute was restructured to address emerging capacity building challenges in the region in 2019 in Guinea Conakry, such as leadership and governance, regional integration, reserve management and the emerging financial architecture," he said; that the training will equip participants with knowledge on the importance of PFM in macroeconomic analysis and management as well as identify the linkages between the components of PFM systems and improved economic and fiscal performance.

He said participants are expected to recognize and design tools for effective management of fiscal risks, components of fiscal transparency, reliable fiscal reports and the importance of internal and external auditing, upon completion of the course.

Essa Drammeh, Second Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of the Gambia, said fiscal balance is an important driver of key macroeconomic variables that is of great significance to Central Bankers and as such, this is at the center of their activities.

He buttressed that effective PFM institutions underpin fiscal and macroeconomic stability because they guide the allocation of sacred public resources to national priorities and as well support the efficient delivery of services for poverty reduction and economic development.

"The 2008-2009 global financial crises and its impact on low-income countries, has reinforced the importance of budgetary institutions in our countries, although in reaction to the crisis, policy makers across different regions responded with numerous counter-cynical policies," he said. He cited information scarcity in Ministries, Departments and Agencies as the challenges of modern budgeting and planning; that this hampers effective budgeting, the public sector, policy making institutions and proper budget implementation.

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