The report says that, while public financial management (PFM) in Africa has significantly evolved over the last decades, the pace of reform continues to be challenged by systemic issues and deficiencies that undermine major investments from governments and development partners.

It identifies four areas of impact, where support and actions must be prioritised, to improve PFM performance in the region.

  • Empowering Effective Coordination

The report identifies the effectiveness of government's approach to PFM reform coordination at both national and subnational level, as a critical missing link across countries. The need for key legislative and policy updates required to facilitate effective oversight, as well as the institutionalised use of performance assessment tools and improvement of inter-agency and inter-sector collaboration were key areas of action highlighted for governments in Africa.

  • Driving People Development

The need to develop people in a way that positively impacts public service delivery was found to require a combination of specific soft, technical and ethical skills. In meeting prioritised areas of support required by governments, a focus on skill transfer through consultancy engagements, coaching and work shadowing programs at national and sub-national levels of governments was recommended.

  • Ensuring Data Integrity

Compromised integrity in budget preparation impairs all other aspects of the budget cycle, particularly where elements of PFM systems are automated in silos. In ensuring data integrity, the report recommends an impact-focused as opposed to input-focused approach to digitisation, where the improved integration of existing automated systems, better regulation and skill development in the ethical use of technology are prioritised in the public sector.

  • Improving Resource Efficiency

At both national and sub-national levels, increasing transparency and improving internal control and audit processes were found to be fundamental in enabling the sustainable use of resources across the public sector in Africa.

ACCA_Africa_PFM _Figure ES3