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January 09, 2017

Public Investment Management in East/West Africa – Self-Assessment


Posted by Kubai Khasiani[1]

  • A recent PFM Blog article discussed a workshop on public investment management (PIM) for the countries of Southern Africa organized by the IMF’s technical assistance center, AFRITAC South. A similar workshop took place recently in Kigali, Rwanda, for 13 countries of East and West Africa[2]. The workshop was planned against the background of increased infrastructure investment in the region, especially in power generation, transport (air, rail and roads), telecommunications, water, and sanitation. During the workshop, the participants completed a self-assessment based on the IMF’s Public Investment Management Assessment (PIMA) tool (please attach the linkimf.org/publicinvestment). The PIMA framework is divided into three broad areas, covering the planning, allocation and implementation of public investment projects, and 15 institutions, each of which has three dimensions, making 45 dimensions in total. The summary scores are shown below.

 Summary scores by 12 participating countries (click image to enhance)

Summary scores by 12 participating countries

Red= Not Met; Yellow= Partly Met; Green= Fully Met. The ellipses represent the highest concentration of participating country scores for each institution

The results of the self-assessment show that in general, the average ratings for the “planning” institutions are stronger than for “allocation”, which in turn are stronger than the “implementation” institutions. The participants’ scores also indicate that most countries had formal laws or procedures in place covering the main elements of the PIMA framework. However, discussions during the workshop revealed that the execution of these formal arrangements was often less than adequate.

On the basis of the self-assessment, participants prioritized their perceived PIM needs as summarized in the table below. These priorities are closely aligned with the countries’ perception of their institutional weaknesses. (click image to enhance)

PIM reform needs across East and West AfricaParticipants suggested a cross section of PIM reform initiatives including: building staff skills and capabilities in project design and the selection of projects; adoption of a unified methodology for appraising investment projects and PPPs; independent review of projects; effective implementation of laws and respect for the rule of law; introduction of performance budgeting and improved transparency in capital investment; multiyear appropriations for major projects; improved leveraging of donor funds and intra-government coordination; separation of the project approval process from budget preparation; approval of the financing of projects only if they are part of an approved pipeline; and establishment of a register of assets to better inform public investment decisions. Many of these reforms would require new legislation, or the revision of existing legislation.

More generally, the self-assessment points to broader weaknesses in PFM systems, and specifically in the procedures for setting fiscal targets and rules, allocating resources through the budget, and managing, controlling and reporting budget execution.  

[1] Regional PFM Advisor, AFRITAC East.

[2] The workshop was organized by AFRITAC East and AFRITAC West 2. Countries represented were Cape Verde, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Tanzania(Zanzibar), and Uganda. The facilitators were Martin Darcy, Robert Clifton, Willie Di Preez, Ashni Kumar Singh, Paul Seeds, and Kubai Khasiani.   

Note: The posts on the IMF PFM Blog should not be reported as representing the views of the IMF. The views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy.


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