In the last decade, the relevance of Good Financial Governance for development was highlighted in a few international debates and declarations. Africa has influenced these discussions by sharing its positions on Public Financial Management (PFM), domestic resource mobilisation and oversight.
A key element of this effort is the Declaration on Good Public Financial Governance in Africa. In 2011, GIZ’s Good Financial Governance (GFG) in Africa programme assisted its African partner organisations ‒ the African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (AFROSAI), African Organisation of Public Accounts Committees (AFROPAC), the African Tax Administration Forum (ATAF) and the Collaborative Africa Budget Reform Initiative (CABRI) in initiating the declaration. The purpose of the declaration was to reach a common understanding of financial governance challenges and priorities for consideration by African ministries of finance. As such, it remains a core reference document for the programme, as well as the African network organisations.
Regional public finance networks increasingly strengthen the representation of Africa in international processes. The below results are in many ways contingent on the identification of joint initiatives and positive working relationships with key stakeholders, thereby ensuring acceptance of African positions and best practice in the area of Good Financial Governance.
GIZ and its partner networks identified the fight against Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs) as an area in which an African Voice needs to be strengthened. The IFFs workshop in Pretoria in July 2016, in which all networks participated, aimed at discussing strategies and activities in the fight against IFFs to better coordinate and join forces. Discussions on activities ranged from expanding the technical work on taxation into the parliamentary realm and focusing more on the coordinative role of ministries of finance, to starting a joint audit on corruption. The insights and recommendations generated at the workshop will drive the joint activities of partner networks and GIZ.
In October 2017, the Network partners signed an MoU to collaborate in combating IFFs. In March 2018, the network members agreed to pilot the Country Risk Profile (CRP) Assessment Tool in four African countries. The CRP is a diagnostic tool which aims to develop a methodology that will highlight the key systemic and institutional threats and risks that countries face with regards to IFFs. To date, the tool has been piloted in Kenya and Gabon.
The Good Financial Governance (GFG) in Africa programme implemented a Joint Multi-Donor Action project in in November 2020, in tackling Tax related IFFs in Africa, co-funded by the European Union, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The overall objective of the Joint Multi-Donor Action is to contribute to reducing Illicit Financial Flows in Africa. The project will leverage on existing partnerships and develop new approaches to enhance activities to combat Illicit Financial Flows:
AFROSAI is contributing with its African positions to the International Congress of Supreme Audit Institutions (INCOSAI), held every three years by the International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI). AFROSAI developed two African position papers on the two key topics which were discussed in December 2016 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates:
In representing a common voice of all African supreme audit institutions (SAIs), the position papers identify the crucial need for increasing the involvement of SAIs considerably if the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are to be achieved. The papers also express AFROSAI’s view that professionalisation is particularly important for the African continent, since many SAIs face challenges on the individual, organisational and systemic level.
The deliberations at the congress and the resolutions taken will guide AFROSAI’s future work, supported by the GFG in Africa programme, in assisting its member SAIs in facing these challenges.
ATAF continues to represent the voice of African tax administrations in global debates: the most recent of these debates are the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes, the OECD’s Committee on Fiscal Affairs and the Subregional Workshop on Curbing IFFs of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
During the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in 2015, ATAF hosted a well-received side event to discuss ways of funding the African Agenda 2063.
As an African organisation of parliamentary Public Accounts Committees, AFROPAC has obliged itself in his strategic plan 2019-2023 to focus on creating an African voice for budget oversight committees. Within the last years, AFROPAC was therefore piloting sub-regional trainings and conferences on accountability and the parliamentary budget cycle to create space for peer-exchange and forming a common understanding on the topic. With its mission statement AFROPAC is promoting “one voice” for accountability and transparency in Africa. Bi-annual general meetings of AFROPAC are used by its members to issue declarations with leading objectives for all African countries on fighting illicit financial flows, specifically on anti-corruption and debt management. Together with other stakeholders like ATAF and AFROSAI, AFROPAC is committed to advocacy on regional and international level.
CABRI contributes to the global exchange of ideas to foster new thinking and develop solutions to the most pressing developmental challenges. For instance, in August 2018, CABRI participated in World Water Week to explore ways in which institutions can become more effective and access new sources of finance for the water sector. This is based on the premise that water is key to future prosperity, and that together, we can achieve a water wise world.
Another example is the participation of CABRI in the 2016 Conference on Aid and Public Expenditure (CAPE) held in London on 19 and 20 October. The conference was framed as a consensus building exercise on ways that development assistance (aid) can be delivered more effectively in the era of the Sustainable Development Goals. CABRI’s contribution to the conference focussed on the progress that has been made by development partners (donors) in their use of country systems in the delivery of aid, and ways that even greater progress can be made.
On the continental level, GIZ liaises with four African Regional Technical Assistance Centres (AFRITACs) and participates in their steering committee meetings. The AFRITACs are part of the International Monetary Fund’s capacity-building initiative in Africa. They support recipient countries in their efforts to strengthen financial governance and develop effective and legitimate institutions by providing technical assistance and networking measures such as regional workshops. The participation by GIZ in the steering committees aims at ensuring complementary support in public financial management reforms on country and regional level.