Accra, April 19, GNA – Mr Seth Terkper, Minister of Finance, and Ms. Nemat Shafik, Deputy Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish a new Africa Regional Technical Assistance Center (AFRITAC).
The Centre, to be known as AFRITAC West 2, covers Cape Verde, the Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone, complementing a network of existing AFRITACs in Gabon, Tanzania, CÃ´te d’Ivoire, and Mauritius.
A statement issued by the Public Affairs directorate of the IMF External Relations Department, copied to the Ghana News Agency on Friday, said the signing ceremony took place in Washington, DC.
AFRITAC West 2 would be the IMF’s ninth regional technical assistance centre worldwide, and the fifth in sub-Saharan Africa, fulfilling IMFs commitment to extend AFRITAC network to all sub-Saharan African countries, said Ms Shafik.
She said that the Regional Technical Assistance Centres had become a staple of the IMF’s capacity development efforts, covering a large group of low and middle income countries and delivering an increasing share of overall technical assistance.
Ms. Shafik noted that the Centres were flexible, and the staff knew well the potential and challenges of the environments in which they operated.
‘This contributes to delivering effective, responsive, realistic, and sustainable technical assistance, as well as ‘good value for money’ to both recipient countries and the donors that support them,’ she said.
Ms. Shafik said the approach adopted for the operations and governance structure of AFRITAC West 2 would allow countries to obtain demand-driven, hands-on advice in a rapidly changing world where predictability had increasingly become an issue.
Mr. Terkper expressed confidence that the facility would help policymakers in the AFRITAC West 2 member countries to formulate even better responses to economic and financial challenges.
The AFRITACs are part of the IMF’s Africa Capacity-Building Initiative, launched in May 2002, and the initiative promotes the strengthening of the capacity of African countries, to design and implement poverty-reducing strategies, as well as to improve the coordination of capacity development efforts.
As part of the initiative, four centres have already been established in Sub-Saharan Africa, namely East AFRITAC, which was opened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2002.
They are financed by contributions from the beneficiary countries, bilateral and multilateral donors, and the IMF.