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Takeaways from the 4th Public Finance Management Conference for French-Speaking Countries in Africa

PFM Algiers 2

IFAC, the International Public Sector Accounting Standards Board (IPSASB), the Pan-African Federation of Accountants (PAFA), the Federation internatonal des experts Comptables Francophones (FIDEF) came together to organize the 4th Public Finance Management (PFM) conference for French Speaking countries in Africa. The conference took place February 20-21, 2024, in Algiers, Algeria. The event was hosted by the Conseil National de l’Ordre National des Experts Comptables (CNC – ONEC Algerie) under the Patronage of his Excellence the Minister of Finance of the Peoples Republic of Algeria. The Conference brought together over 200 delegates from 25 countries in the Francophone Africa region representing the Leaders of Professional Accountancy Organizations, Heads of Courts of Audit, Inspectorate Generals of State and Finance, Senior Financial Comptrollers, Comptroller Generals of State Office, members of Public Accounts Committees, and representatives of Development Partners among other stakeholders.

Algeria Minister of Finance, Mr. Abdelaziz Faid

Algeria Minister of Finance, Mr. Abdelaziz Faid in his opening speech, emphasized the importance of establishing a climate of trust between leaders and citizens through the development of public service. The conference provided a platform for an exchange of experiences of public finance management practices in Africa, through collaboration to develop a common vision for transparent, accountable and effective governance in the public sector in Africa.

The conference was a follow up to the 2022 Lome meeting and an opportunity to track progress made by countries in the implementation of PFM reforms. The conference covered six themes including the role of PAOs in shaping the public sector, the fight against illicit financial flows, money laundering and corruption, collaborative capacity building to enhance service delivery in the public sector, sustainability reporting in the public sector and enhancing public sector accountability through accrual reporting. The conference also included IPSASB 2024-2028 strategy consultation which offered the opportunity to the IPSASB to get feedback on its new strategy from the representatives of PAOs and the public sector.

PAFA Vice President, Mr. Walid Ben Salah also noted in his opening remarks:

“The journey towards sustainable development requires a holistic approach. Our public financial management systems must be resilient, transparent, and accountable. They should not only meet current needs but also adapt to the evolving demands of the future. The task ahead demands our unwavering commitment to embrace innovation, foster collaboration, and institute reforms that will stand the test of time.”

The Algiers conference provided the opportunity to participants to develop “common orientations,” particularly for French-speaking African countries around international accounting standards in the public sector, which enables common accounting practices in the objective of achieving financial transparency in the development of State budget as well as in the financial statements of infrastructures and public enterprises.

Key recommendations and takeaways from the conference are available in Report of the 4th Public Finance Management Conference for French-Speaking Countries in Africa: Strengthening PFM for Sustainable Economic Growth in Francophone Africa. The report also includes an action plan for implementing the recommendations to maintain the momentum and ensure relevant stakeholders are adequately engaged. 

With commonalities established, this conference signifies a step forward in promoting financial transparency and bolstering the foundations of governance across French-speaking African nations.

Report of the 4th Public Finance Management Conference for French-Speaking Countries in Africa

Strengthening PFM for Sustainable Economic Growth in Francophone Africa

Darlene Nzorubara

Darlene Nzorubara is a Principal at IFAC. She manages the compliance and membership activities of IFAC's members and associates in Africa and supports the PAO Capacity Building Program as well as the MOSAIC (Memorandum of Understanding to Strengthen Accountancy and Improve Collaboration) Steering Committee. She also oversees Africa initiatives under IFAC’s MoU with Gavi, the Global Fund, and USAID to strengthen public finance management for greater accountability and transparency through the effective role of PAOs. 

Prior to joining IFAC, Darlene worked as a research assistant on governance at Baruch College in New York and worked for two years as a legal assistant for a law firm in Paris, France. Darlene has post graduate degrees in international economic law and in business and exportation law from Université René Descartes – Paris V and a Master in Public Administration from Baruch College.