The Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund (IMF)’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for East Africa (East AFRITAC) endorsed the Center’s work plan for 2015. This envisages a substantial scaling up of technical assistance and training activities. Steering Committee members also welcomed the achievements in 2014, which included strengthened public financial management, support for better fiscal analysis and bank supervision, improved tax administration and significant progress towards disseminating revised GDP data across the region.
The Steering Committee met in Arusha, Tanzania from March 27-28, 2014 to review activities over the year since May 2013 (fiscal year 2014), and discuss a number of strategic and operational issues in the Center’s work. Officials from six of the seven member countries attended, 1 together with representatives of donors (DfID, EU, EIB, Germany, and Switzerland), the East African Community and IMF staff, as well as the Executive Director representing the United Kingdom at the IMF.
In his opening remarks on behalf of Governor Ndulu of the Bank of Tanzania, the Chair of the Steering Committee (Deputy Governor Juma Reli) praised East AFRITAC for technical assistance which was of high quality, relevant and strongly owned by its member countries. He also emphasized the importance of peer-to-peer learning and encouraged the Fund to explore further ways it can foster this between sub-Saharan African countries.
During the discussions, Steering Committee members commended East AFRITAC’s capacity building activities and the successful execution of the work plan in 2014. They applauded the Center for its work on regional activities in support of integration in the East African Community. In that context, they welcomed the new initiatives at the Center in
2015 to support the region’s central banks modernize their monetary policy frameworks, as well as help strengthen government finance statistics to improve the monitoring of macroeconomic convergence criteria for regional integration.
The meeting focused on a number of key strategic issues. Steering Committee members were pleased with progress made at the Center on reporting the results of its technical assistance and training activities, dissemination of technical assistance reports, and efforts at improved budgeting, outreach and donor coordination. There was extensive discussion of the IMF’s plans to implement the recommendations of the mid-term external evaluation of the Center, including steps to further improve monitoring and reporting of results, efficiency, the effectiveness of training and RTAC governance. The meeting also extended the current Phase of East AFRITAC operations to April 2015 and discussed preparations for the next Phase (IV), including emerging capacity building topics that could be covered, process, timing, and financial sustainability aspects.
East AFRITAC, located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, is one of nine regional IMF technical assistance centers around the world and serves Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda. It provides capacity-building assistance in core areas of expertise of the International Monetary Fund such as: revenue administration; public financial management; macro-fiscal analysis; financial sector regulation; monetary policy and operations; and economic and financial statistics. Its Steering Committee, composed of the member countries, the IMF and representatives of the donors, oversees and provides guidance on the Center’s operations.