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Finance Ministry officials from eight southern African nations attended an International Monetary Fund (IMF) seminar on managing fiscal risks between April 27 and 30.
The event was organized by the IMF's Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center South (AFRITAC South) and brought together officials from Botswana, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, the Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.
Countries in southern Africa face the pressing need to increase living standards, create new jobs, promote structural transformation, and increase investment in infrastructure, the IMF said. The challenge is to gear fiscal management to achieve these objectives without creating the risks of unintended additional costs for the Government budget in the future.
At the IMF event, country representatives and international experts extensively discussed aggregate risks affecting budget revenues and expenditures, as well as specific fiscal risk emanating from state-owned entities, pension systems, volatile natural resource revenues, and infrastructure-related public-private partnerships.
Country experts shared their experiences in setting up the institutional and organizational frameworks necessary for identifying, assessing, and reporting on fiscal risks (in South Africa), in managing natural resource income (in Botswana), and in addressing risks from public-private partnerships (in Turkey). Participants also developed draft outlines of fiscal risk statements for their own countries.
Following the seminar, AFRITAC South will provide technical assistance on fiscal risk management in a number of countries in the region.
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