The Good Financial Governance in Africa programme promotes transparency and accountability in public financial management and is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU). Its objective is to foster Good Financial Governance in Africa, more specifically to equip decision-makers in African public finance to use region-specific services, products and further education to improve financial governance.
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The PFM training was conducted in three phases: the first phase was facilitated in Germany at the University of Public Management Kehl, the second phase was the development of the transfer projects at their home countries, and the third phase was in South Africa at the school of Public Leadership at Stellenbosch University. During their visits to the Universities, the participants at both universities met with significant personalities such as the federal minister of Finance, parliamentarians, provincial managers and representatives from supreme audit institution (SAI).
Each country team defined a transfer project at the start of the training. This was to respond to specific problems as defined by the teams, as The Gambian transfer project shows: Their transfer project was about Developing Key Performance Indicators for Municipalities and or Local Government Associations to enable effective and efficient measurement of performance to improve service delivery. The Gambia team explained that the chosen topic for their transfer project “would be feasible, impactful and require limited financial resources. A key component of The Gambia’s PFM strategy is the weak PFM systems in local councils. Thus, in the Gambian context, we felt that developing KPIs for a municipality fits this criterion.”
Their transfer project objectives are:
– To develop key performance indicators for Banjul City Council (BCC) as a pilot.
– To introduce uniform performance and standards to ensure sound and sustainable management of fiscal and financial affairs of the council and its entities.
– To help the BCC using different indicators and norms to assess their own performance and set the benchmark.
– Encourage the BCC to spend more efficiently and effectively by making them aware that their performance will influence their level of funding and by reducing or streamlining the controls that impede good performance.
The Transfer Project is currently being implemented with a promising outlook for achieving its intended objectives. All stakeholders involved, including the BCC, the Ministry of Regional Government as well as the Ministry of Finance and the National Assembly have pledged their support and will avail resources to realise the project as it is linked to the reform agenda of the country. While the focus is on KPIs for Local Government, the in-principle agreement and engagement of a range of government institutions in this process is indicative of the commitment to improved tracking of service delivery and related accountability to citizens through efforts to increase transparency.
The Gambian participants indicated that “the PFM training was a great learning experience. It went beyond just imparting knowledge but provided an opportunity to implement the knowledge gained. It also exposed us to understanding PFM from the perspective of two countries Germany and South Africa.” The Gambian team benefitted not only from the unique setup of various Gambian PFM experts but also gained from the exchange with professionals of other countries in similar positions, as facilitated by this training. It provided a holistic approach for the participants in the improvement of their skills and knowledge on PFM in responding to their country needs.
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