New approach for IMF
The IMF is changing the way it provides technical assistance and training to member countries.
IMF deputy MD Nemat Shafik said the new approach would make it more focused, nimble and effective.
As part of the revamped strategy, the IMF has merged its technical assistance and training activities to form the Institute for Capacity Development. The new department, launched this month, brings together the former IMF Institute and the Office of Technical Assistance Management.
The merger of technical assistance and training is expected to enhance the effectiveness of the IMF’s large global capacity building network.
The seven Regional Training Centers and training programs in Austria, Brazil, China, India, Kuwait, Singapore, and Tunisia, which supplement headquarters-based training, allow the IMF to adapt its training to local needs. The IMF also has eight Regional Technical Assistance Centers—four in Africa and the others in the Caribbean, Latin America, the Middle East, and the Pacific.
Antoinette Sayeh, Director of the IMF’s African Department, said: “There is a critical need for knowledge-sharing in the area of natural resource wealth management; mobile phone banking and monetary unions are also generating much interest. There has to be a focus on building institutions.”
Sayeh said the IMF’s regional technical assistance centers in Africa had been effective in tailoring technical assistance to realities on the ground.
The four African Regional Technical Assistance Centers (AFRITACs) include:
- East AFRITAC, which was opened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2002. It now serves seven countries in East Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda).
- West AFRITAC was opened in Bamako, Mali, in 2003, to serve ten countries in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo).
- Central AFRITAC was opened in Libreville, Gabon, in 2007, to serve countries in the CEMAC group, plus Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. AFRITAC South was opened in Port Louis, Mauritius, in June 2011, to serve 13 countries in Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe).
- Work is in progress to open one more AFRITAC, covering the non-francophone countries in West Africa (AFRITAC West 2).