Press Releases

AFS February-April 2017 Bulletin

AFS concluded FY17 with a higher volume of TA delivery – mainly supported by good traction in most AFS countries and more regional initiatives, including regional seminars and peer learning activities.

Download Bulletin

Seminar on Debt Sustainability Analysis using the International Monetary Fund Debt Sustainability Analysis for Market-Access Countries (MAC DSA) held during May 1-5, 2017.

IMG_5223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMF AFRITAC South concludes tomorrow a week-long regional seminar on debt sustainability analysis, in collaboration with the IMF’s Strategy, Policy and Review Department. Participants included government officials from Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Swaziland.

The seminar focused on the IMF’s standardized framework used to conduct public debt sustainability analysis in market access countries through a series of hands-on exercises in the application of the template and the interpretation of the results. Discussions centered on the debt sustainability analysis of the delegates’ respective countries.

 

Seminar on Debt Sustainability Analysis using the World Bank-International Monetary Fund Debt Sustainability Framework for Low -Income Countries during April 24- 28, 2017.

IMG_5223

IMG_5223

During April 24-28, 2017 AFRITAC South, in collaboration with the Strategy, Policy and Review Department of the IMF and the Macroeconomic and Fiscal Management Global Practice of the World Bank, held a regional seminar on debt sustainability analysis for low income countries. The event was hosted by the AFRITAC South at the facilities of Africa Training Institute in Mauritius.

The seminar brought together government officials from Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It focused on the main principles of debt sustainability and the link to the IMF’s Debt Limit Policy and the Bank’s Non-Concessional Borrowing Policy. IMF and Bank experts presented and discussed with seminar participants the IMF-World Bank Debt Sustainability Framework (DSF) for Low-Income Countries (LICs). The DSF is a standardized framework for conducting public and external debt sustainability analysis in LICs. It aims to help guide the borrowing decisions of LICs, provide guidance for creditors’ lending and grant allocation decisions, and improve IMF and World Bank assessments and policy advice.

The hands-on approach focused on how to develop baseline stress-test scenarios by using the DSF and how to interpret the results from the debt sustainability analysis. Specific attention was given to practical application of the framework by engaging participants to use the analytical tool and interpret results. Participants discussed the importance of the individual country context and macroeconomic and technical challenges they face in using the DSF as a tool for guiding their countries’ borrowing decisions.

 

Seminar on Seasonal Adjustments in National Accounts Statistics during April 24- 28, 2017 held at Statistics South Africa, Pretoria.

IMG_5223

IMG_5223

AFRITAC South is conducting a seminar on seasonal adjustments in national accounts. The focus will be on specific issues, including seasonal patterns and calendar effects in national accounts time series. Twenty-four compilers from eight countries (Angola, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Seychelles, South Africa, and Zambia) will participate.

The seminar will consist of lectures and workshop sessions covering methodological and compilation issues to provide compilers of national accounts statistics with basic knowledge of seasonal adjustment. The seminar will include compilation sessions using countries’ datasets. The software used will be JDemetra+.

 

Closing Remarks by the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Mr. Rameswurlall Basant Roi G.C.S.K., Governor, Bank of Mauritius for the Seminar on International Financial Reporting Standards during April 3-7, 2017.

IMG_5223

AFRITAC South held a seminar in Ebene, Mauritius, on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) during April 3-7. The objective was to enhance the ability of prudential regulators and bank supervisors from the region to implement IFRS. The focus was on tools and techniques for conducting supervision of banks/financial institutions under the international standards. 25 supervisors from 9 countries discussed regional and national challenges in complying with IFRS and shared their jurisdictions’ experiences. Governor Bassant Roi, Bank of Mauritius, delivered the closing speech

Download Full Text 

 

Seminar on Integrity in Customs during April 3- 7, 2017.

IMG_5223

IMG_5223

Senior customs officials from twelve AFRITAC South countries participated this week in a regional 5-day seminar on Integrity in Customs. Mr. Sudhamo Lal, Director General of Mauritius Revenue Authority opened the seminar, which provided a discussion forum for exploring challenges to integrity in customs. The seminar discussed: (i) concerns relating to integrity including vulnerabilities; (ii) key elements and international good practice in developing effective integrity strategies; (iii) member country experiences including a review of the status and effective implementation of Codes of Conduct and integrity strategies; (iv) WCO and regional initiatives; and (v) methods of reducing or removing opportunities for corruption.

Representatives made presentation on their own country experiences. EU Ambassador H.E Marjaana Sall gave the closing speech.

 

Opening Remarks by the Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, Mr Vikram Punchoo at the IMF Afritac South Seminar on International Financial Reporting Standards on April 3, 2017.

IMG_5223

Mr. Vikram Punchoo, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, delivered a speech on April 3, 2017 at the AFRITAC South’s Seminar on International Financial Reporting Standards.  Twenty eight financial sector regulators from 9 countries in the region are participating in the program. The discussions address regional and national challenges in complying with IFRS through sharing of experience by participants on the strategies adopted by them in their jurisdictions.

Download Full Text 

 

Seminar on Integrity in Customs – April 3-7, 2017

IMG_5223

IMG_5223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Senior officials from twelve AFRITAC South (AFS) member countries’ customs administrations responsible for managing the compliance of taxpayers and integrity programs participated in an AFS regional seminar ‘Integrity in Customs’ at the IMF Africa Training Institute (ATI) seminar which started on April 3. This five-day seminar was opened by Mr. Sudhamo Lal, Director General of Mauritius Revenue Authority, and will provide a forum for discussion to explore the challenges to integrity in customs administration and will seek to find ways of overcoming challenges. The seminar will look at: (i) identifying concerns relating to integrity including vulnerabilities; (ii) key elements and international good practice in developing effective integrity strategies; (iii) member country experiences including a review of the status and effective implementation of Codes of Conduct and integrity strategies; (iv) WCO and regional initiatives; and (v) methods of reducing or removing opportunities for corruption.

Representatives for each country will prepare a presentation based on background information, presentations and discussions at the seminar outlining:

  • -Key learning lessons,
  • -Areas identified where a positive impact can be made back home.
  • -A draft action plan with tentative outcomes, outputs, inputs, and timelines.
  • -Existing and anticipated challenges.
  • -Ideas on how to overcome the identified challenges.
  • -How (if at all) IMF/AFRITAC South can assist.

 

Seminar on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)- April 3-7, 2017

IMG_5223

IMG_5223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

AFRITAC South is hosting a seminar this week on International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) with specific focus on enhancing the skills and competencies of the officials in the bank supervision departments of Sub Saharan African Countries. Nine Southern Africa countries are represented by 25 middle to senior level bank supervisors in this seminar. The overarching goal of the seminar is to enhance the ability of prudential regulators and bank supervisors/examiners to understand the implementation challenges of IFRS and equip them with the tools and techniques for conducting supervision of banks/financial institutions in the most effective way. Resource persons include Mr. V. Venkataramanan, Partner, KPMG, India an internationally recognized expert in IFRS implementation, Mr. Amarjit Chopra, Chairman, National Advisory Committee on Accounting Standards, India which is the Apex body in endorsing the Accounting Standards, and Mr. P.R.Ramesh, Chairman, Deloitte India and a Member of the various Committees constituted by Government of India/ Reserve Bank of India on IFRS implementation.
The discussions will address regional and national challenges in complying with IFRS through sharing of experience by participants on the strategies adopted by them in their jurisdictions.

 

AFRITAC South Strengthens Member States’ Macroeconomic Management and Regional Integration

IMG_5223

IMG_5223

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eighth Steering Committee of the International Monetary Fund’s Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa (AFRITAC South)[1] met in Swaziland on March 30-31, 2017. The center serves Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe

Hon. Martin G. Dlamini, Minister of Finance of Swaziland opened the meeting.  He emphasized the critical role AFRITAC South plays in the economic transformation of member countries and called for sustaining capacity development (CD) efforts to maintain the reform momentum. He also underlined the importance of strengthening collaboration with the center to effectively bridge capacity gaps and to better align CD plans with the emerging priorities of member countries, regional organizations, and the special needs of countries facing fragile conditions.

At the conclusion of the Steering Committee meeting, Ms. Lonkhululeko Magagula, Chair of the Steering Committee and Ms. Effie Psalida, AFRITAC South Coordinator, issued the following joint statement:

“Members of the Steering Committee noted the sustained increase in technical assistance to the region by the center as well as the increase in the number of seminars, workshops, and professional attachments to bridge capacity gaps and to support implementation of reforms in all 13 countries in core macroeconomic areas. The Committee welcomed the achievements made during Phase I and supported the need to sustain efforts to further strengthen macroeconomic management capacity in the region and build economic resilience. Members of the Committee agreed with the relevance of AFS CD for member countries for meeting their commitments to regional organizations such as COMESA and SADC, and proposed that this focus be reinforced in Phase II. The Committee endorsed the Work Plan for the year starting May 1, 2017, with additional resources for the statistics area.

The Committee welcomed the smooth transition towards the new IMF-wide results based management (RBM) framework to further improve planning, execution, and evaluation of CD initiatives and demonstration of strong value for money: It supported the program for Phase II, with the understanding that the program document is still being finalized. Donor partners agreed to work with the center towards harmonizing strategic logical frameworks with the new IMF RBM framework.

The Committee noted the fundraising status for Phase I and Phase II and agreed to an extension of Phase I by three months. To ensure sustainability of the program going forward and as a signal for strong member country ownership, the Committee also agreed in principle to doubling of the member country contributions in Phase II, subject to further consultations with their capitals. Donor partners agreed to work closely with the center to expedite finalization of disbursement for funding Phase II.”

The AFRITAC South Steering Committee is currently chaired by Swaziland. This eighth meeting was attended by officials of all thirteen member countries and the following donor representatives: the European Union, the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Switzerland, and Australia. USAID participated as observer.

AFRITAC South is one of 14 regional IMF CD centers around the world (of which six are in sub-Saharan Africa) and offers capacity building services to member countries in its core areas of expertise, namely public financial management, revenue administration, real sector statistics, financial sector supervision, monetary policy and operations, and payment systems.