'Poor public finance management is incentive for graft'

Governments' reluctance to adopt change, poor institutional coordination, lack of capacity, and insufficient policies and procedures are leadership challenges facing financial management systems in Africa, providing an incentive for corruption.

These were some of the issues mentioned by delegates from Africa attending the African Development Bank's 60th anniversary celebrations in Nairobi.

"In the face of debt distress, socio-political crises, and climate change, efficient public finance management systems are a cornerstone of achieving sustainable development in Africa," said Mamadou Biteye, executive secretary of the Africa Capacity Building Foundation.

In recent years, the public finance management sector has faced challenges such as socio-political crises, debt distress, climate shocks, and unstable international markets, increasing fiscal pressure on African countries.

While launching the 'Enhancing Leadership and Governance in Public Financial Management (ELG PFM) Programme' on the sidelines of the AfDB anniversary, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) stated that African countries need to mobilize more resources to effectively address these challenges and satisfy citizens' demand for quality services.

Mamadou Biteye, executive secretary of the ACBF, noted that research indicates the main reason for the failure of technical fixes in addressing economic and social problems, especially in developing countries, is the neglect of power dynamics that affect them, as well as culture and management systems.

"This insight has informed ACBF's investment in developing the leadership and governance skills of senior PFM officials in Africa," Biteye said.

Further, the investment in soft skills development aims to enhance purpose-driven economic and social governance and increase domestic revenue, thereby improving public finance management systems.

The ELG-PFM leadership program is a high-level, four-year leadership programme.

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