I am very pleased to be here with you this morning for the signature of this agreement between the European Union and the IMF for AFRITAC South Phase II.
This support of 800 million rupees (20 million euros) of grants from the European Union will contribute to the implementation of the work programme of AFRITAC South until 2022.
The objective of the collaboration between the European Union and the IMF is to support sound macroeconomic, financial and fiscal policies in the region. This will also contribute to enhanced regional integration and sustained economic growth in the 13 countries covered by AFRITAC South.
Through the partnership between the European Union and the IMF, we will strengthen these countries’ abilities to implement sound macroeconomic policies in order to achieve growth and sustainable development. Through our collaboration, these 13 countries will receive technical assistance in key areas like tax policy, public financial management, financial sector management, statistics and monetary policy. Regional organisations like COMESA, IOC, and SADC will also benefit from our support to implement commitments taken for better integration in the region.
The European Union is the lead donor to AFRITAC South. We have been working with AFRITAC South since the very start of its operation in Mauritius in 2011. The good results achieved under Phase I, as well as the good results of the assessment of Phase I as mentioned by Mr David Owen, gave us comfort in giving our support again to Phase II of AFRITAC South until 2022.
I believe that the work of AFRITAC South is a unique opportunity for the European Union and other development partners to work with IMF for better economic management in the African region.
I had the privilege to open a number of seminars here at AFRITAC South, and could therefore see for myself that there is always a very good representation from the 13 countries. The courses are oversubscribed, showing that these trainings from AFRITAC South are very appreciated and useful.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
This EU-IMF collaboration for the African continent will contribute to implement the 'Africa-Europe Alliance for sustainable investment and jobs' . This Alliance was launched by the President of the European Commission, Mr Jean Claude Juncker last September. It builds on the commitments taken at the African Union – European Union Summit in 2017 where the two continents agreed to strengthen their partnership. The Alliance will lead to the creation of up to 10 million jobs in Africa in the next 5 years alone. The European Union partnership with Africa will go beyond development aid. We will work together to create sustained growth through more trade, economic relations and private sector investments.
The capacity development work done by the IMF through the regional technical assistance centres like AFRITAC South will contribute to create stable macro-economic environment, efficient public financial management, debt sustainability, etc. These are key preconditions and enablers to implement this Africa-Europe Alliance.
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen
This makes the EU and the IMF strategic Partners in Promoting Capacity Development and in achieving sustained progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). I would like to place on record our appreciation to the IMF/AFRITAC South for the close and fruitful cooperation between our two organisations here in Mauritius.
I note the presence of other contributors to AFS in the room today, namely UK, and of course Mauritius, which not only hosts AFS but is also one of the largest contributors among member countries.
I would like to thank Honourable Sesungkur for representing the Government of Mauritius to this event today. There are many areas in which Mauritius currently benefits from the capacity building of AFRITAC South, particularly in the areas of public finance management, revenue management, the financial sector, monetary policy and financial markets. These are key areas for the future development of the country and to implement the Vision 2030 of the Government of Mauritius, and can also be used to promote the Africa Strategy of Mauritius.
I would strongly encourage the member countries of AFRITAC South present here to take full advantage of capacity development offered by AFRITAC South. I also encourage the IMF/AFRITAC South to be innovative in the assistance given to the countries and regional organisations, within the parameters of the current work programme.
Let me seize this opportunity to thank the Deputy Director of the African Department of IMF for his presence among us today for the signature of the agreement. This demonstrates the good collaboration between the European Union and the IMF.
I thank the office of AFRITAC South for the organisation of the event today.
Thank you for your kind attention.