Thursday, June 30, 2022

IMF is in town for conference on governance

The Bank of Botswana (Bank) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday kick started a high-level conference on the promotion of good governance and fight against corruption.

The conference, which was due to end on Tuesday responds to calls from within Africa to advance governance reforms and ramp up the fight against corruption, to make African economies more resilient to shocks. Within the scope of their respective mandates, the African Union Comission and the IMF have also given governance and anti-corruption efforts a higher priority in their work. The objectives of the conference include among others, (i) discussing reforms of governance and anti-corruption frameworks on the continent, including those initiated during the COVID-19 pandemic, (ii) discussing the AUC strategy and the IMF framework on governance and corruption; (iii) building consensus on the macro-critical impact of poor governance and corruption and their transmission channels, and (iv) disseminating key IMF and AUC findings on governance and corruption issues, including the 2019 Fiscal Monitor (Curbing Corruption) and the Multi-Donor Action to curb IFFs from Africa. The conference will be attended by, senior Government officials such as Ministers of Economy, Heads of Revenue Mobilisation Agencies, Central Bank Governors, and Deputy Governors representing the 55 AU Member States, as well as representatives of regional economic communities, Chief Executive Officers of the African Stock Exchanges, and Leaders of Regional Civil Society Organisations interested in governance and corruption issues.

Speaking at the opening ceremony on Monday, Botswana’s Finance Minister – Peggy Serame there is need for clarity on the bounds and definitions of good governance and corruption.

“This is because it is often difficult to recognise inappropriate behaviour and unethical conduct under the strict jurisdiction of poor governance or corruption. Nevertheless, I believe good governance at the minimum, should entail a clear definition of objectives and deliverables; an appropriate leadership, operational and oversight structure for the purpose; accountability frameworks for performance and remedial measures where objectives are not met”, said Serame.

Serame further an environment of weak governance and corruption also tends to undermine project execution for both businesses and individuals, extending the time between capital allocation and the generation of project cash flows.

“I need to mention the possibility of weak governance and corruption scaring foreign investors and potential business partners that could support economic expansion and modernisation; or, at worst, attracting the wrong kind, that would perpetuate the bad outcomes for the economy and society”

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