By Wallace Mawire
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) plans to establish a Regional Training Center (RTC) for Sub-Saharan Africa in Mauritius, according to a spokesperson.
RTCs elsewhere in the world have facilitated the training of government officials on the formulation and implementation of macroeconomic policies as well as related statistical and legal frameworks.
With support of donors, such centers and programs are operational in Austria, Kuwait, and Singapore, complementing training at IMF headquarters. The new center is expected to close a longstanding gap, as Africa has lacked an IMF training center despite considerable training needs.
The RTC in Mauritius will start operations in 2013 with courses and seminars covering macroeconomic policymaking and financial programming, public finance, exchange rate and monetary policies, economic integration, and financial sector issues, including banking supervision.
The training will also complement the activities of the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Centers in Africa (AFRITACs), as well as other regional initiatives. In addition, the center will seek to host training by other international and regional organizations in their respective areas of expertise, thereby expanding the range of courses and seminars offered.
The spokesperson said the selection of Mauritius was made following an open and transparent consultation process in the Sub-Saharan region, with the authorities of Mauritius committing to provide substantial funding for the center through in-kind (including suitable facilities) and cash contributions. For this purpose, the government of Mauritius will establish a trust fund at the IMF.
“Contributions are under discussion with other donors, and activities will be scaled up once additional donor resources have been secured,” the spokesperson added.