African Development Bank and GovernmentS launch programme to strengthen supreme audit institutions
The African Development Bank and the Government of Cameroon have launched the Regional Programme to Strengthen the Mandates of Supreme Audit Institutions. The Cameroonian Minister Delegate at the Presidency in charge of Superior Audit, Ms Mbah Acha Rose Fomundam, presided over the meeting in her capacity as Chair of the Regional Training Council of Supreme Audit Institutions of Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa.
The programme countries are Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Mali, Niger and Togo.
A number of senior government officials took part in the event. These included the chair of the court of auditors of the Supreme Court of Chad, the inspector-general of Public Services for Mali and the representative of the first president of the court of auditors of Togo. The First President of the Court of Auditors of Niger attended the proceedings by videoconference, as did a representative of the International Organization of Supreme Audit Institutions. An African Development Bank delegation also took part in the launch and in a number of activities held from 21-23 June 2022.
On the sidelines of the launch ceremony, a capacity-building workshop was held for staff of the Regional Training Council of Supreme Audit Institutions of Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa and focal points of supreme audit institutions participating in the programme.
The initiative, which has received $2.53 million in funding from the African Development Bank, works to strengthen the transparency and accountability of public financial management. It also aims to contribute to a better harmonization of standards and tools and to the professionalization of an increased number of public-sector accountants and auditors.
Among the program’s other aims are to strengthen the institutional, professional and human capacity of supreme audit institutions, while incorporating a gender dimension.
Additionally, it also strengthens organizational capacities of supreme audit institutions and deepens regional partnerships and collaboration among key stakeholders. Lastly, the initiative works to develop a pool of sectoral experts at the regional and continental levels.
"The challenges are many, covering the auditing of revenues, public spending, and the financial statements of central government and its branches. The project will support the Regional Training Council of Supreme Audit Institutions of Sub-Saharan Francophone Africa, which has a mandate to strengthen the capacities of audit institutions and external audit bodies," said Sekou Keita, manager of the African Development Bank's Fiduciary Services and Inspection Department.
"I would like to reiterate the readiness of the African Development Bank Group to work with its regional member countries to implement one of its main mandates, to strengthen the financial management of African countries through support for national bodies involved in the management of public finances," he added.
The capacity-building session focused on four themes. The first comprised disbursement procedures, general principles, the preparation of payment requests and the use of Bank forms, and the eligibility criteria for Bank-financed expenditure. The second theme addressed procurement, with a focus on fundamental principles and practical cases of procurement of goods and services. T
he third theme was monitoring and evaluation, including the need for a dedicated unit with adequate tools and sufficient financial and human resources. The fourth and final theme centred on financial management, the foundations and requirements of which were presented to participants and programme-implementation staff.
François Samadingar Ndoubahidi, an advisor in the Financial and Budgetary Affairs Control Section of the Supreme Court of Chad, said, "The training was very satisfying, because we learned a lot. It was an opportunity, as a local team, to better equip ourselves to carry out this project, which is of great importance to our institution."
Other topics, which will be addressed in a future session, include: finalization and submission of terms of reference for services, the transmission of the procurement plan, submission of the general procurement notice and review of the workplan and budget for 2022-2023.