AFRITAC South meeting in progress in Seychelles
A Seychellois fruit vendor at Victoria market, selling tropical fruits that grow in the island country. Seychelles depends heavily on food imports from neighbouring African and Asian countries, with up to 90% of goods consumed coming by air and sea cargo. (Gerard Larose, Seychelles Tourism Board)
(Seychelles News Agency) - Seychelles, the current chair of the regional IMF group AFRITAC South, is hosting its fifth annual meeting, the Indian Ocean island nation has said in a press statement.
Delegates from the 13 member countries of the IMF African Regional Technical Assistance Centre South (AFRITAC South) will discuss the work programme of the organisation, said the archipelago’s finance, trade and investment statement.
Seychelles central bank governor Caroline Abel spoke to the delegates at the opening of the steering committee meeting saying, “the main mandate of the Afritac South is to give capacity-building help, make easier the reform process in member countries and support the region’s integration in the world economy”.
“Since its inauguration in 2011 the centre has been actively striving to fulfil its mandate and it has successfully delivered a wide range of training in such areas as public financial management, tax administration, monetary and fiscal policies and statistics to name but some,” said Abel.
The programmes are tailor-made to meet the needs of all the member countries, she said, noting the Seychelles has benefitted a lot through technical and capacity-building where experts from the centre “help train more people at a time, closer to home at a lower cost”.
“It is vital therefore that the steering committee ensures that the training and technical help provided remain relevant at all times and continue to address the needs of member countries,” she added, expressing the hope that the committee will come up with a comprehensive and dynamic work plan to guide the centre to meet the ever changing needs of its members.
Afritac South coordinator Vitaly Kramarenko said the presence of key Seychellois policy making team at the meeting is proof of the importance and commitment the authorities attach to capacity-building both at national and regional level, declaring the organisation’s activities in the Seychelles as very successful.
“The technical help provided is showing significant results and great improvements in particular in public finance management system, fiscal management, trade facilitation measures and procedures, compliance in the tax system and in statistics and banking supervision,” he said.
|AFRITAC South delegates meeting at Seychelles Kempinski Resort in the Southern Mahe district of Baie Lazare (Joena Bonnelame, Seychelles Nation) Photo license: CC-BY-NC|
AFRITAC South gives technical support to various institutions in the country including the ministry, Central Bank of Seychelles, Seychelles Revenue Commission, Public Enterprise Monitoring Commission and the National Bureau of Statistics, in public financial management, tax administration, bank supervision, monetary policies, public enterprise monitoring, governance and statistics.
AFRITAC South is based in Port Louis, the capital city of the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius.
Apart from the Seychelles and Mauritius the other member countries are neighbouring Madagascar and the Comoros along with other African countries ; Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Also at the meeting are donor representatives from the European Union and the European Investment Bank.