The International Monetary Fund and the European Commission have agreed to contribute $27.15 million (€20 million) to the Regional Technical Assistance Centers in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.
“We are very grateful to the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat for their continued support of the IMF’s capacity building efforts to the benefit of a great number of recipient countries,” said Nemat Shafik, IMF deputy managing director in a statement. “This contribution is crucial for scaling-up our capacity development in the seven ACP RTACs, which have a proven track record in providing flexible, responsive, and tailored technical assistance to their member countries. I would also like to note that the work being carried out by the RTACs will be reinforced by other IMF capacity development initiatives, including those that utilize today´s ever advancing technology, such as e-learning.”
Designed to provide hands-on technical assistance to members countries and to strengthen capacity to ensure the sustainability of reforms in the IMF’s key areas of expertise—macroeconomic, financial and structural policies,- to make it easier to respond more quickly to recipient countries’ needs, the centers complement and maximize the technical assistance capability from IMF’s Washington headquarters.
The international organization said the new Africa Training Institute in Mauritius, for example, now coordinates classroom training with onsite technical assistance provided by all the African RTACs.
There are currently four RTACs centers in Africa, which are strategically located in East, West, Central, and South areas of the regions: In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Libreville, Gabon and Mauritius, respectively. A new center in the region is scheduled to open by the end of the year in Ghana to cover Anglophone and Lusophone countries in West Africa.
Two other ACP RTACs are in the Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center in Suva, Fiji, serving 16 Pacific island countries and territories; and the Caribbean Regional Technical Assistance Center in Bridgetown, Barbados, serving 20 Caribbean island countries and territories.
Six RTACs are operating in the ACP regions.
Marcus Cornaro, deputy director general of DG Europeaid, European Commission, added, “This program is proof that the strategic partnership between the EU and the IMF has a real added value, in improving our coordination and effectiveness in capacity building. I am pleased that the work we do together is intensifying and confident that it will help us in implementing key policy elements of the EU ‘Agenda for change’ and the new approach to EU budget support.”
By THE AFRICA BAZAAR Staff Writer
October 7, 2013