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On average 40-60% of public expenditure goes to education, health and other types of social spending in Africa, which calls for improved governance, voice and accountability in social service delivery. Large inefficiencies in the use of resources in education and health have a negative impact on human capital, with drastic consequences for inclusive economic growth. In an environment of declining aid, achieving greater value for each dollar invested is critical.
In line with its Strategy for 2013-2022 and its agenda on Skills and Technology, the AfDB has developed a Value for Money Program to build the skills of key stakeholders to address inefficiencies in social spending in African countries. As such the first capacity building training on value for money, sustainability and accountability will be held in Dar es Salaam on November 4-7, 2013.
To effectively translate their mandates to action, senior officials from Ministries of Finance, Health, and Education, Civil Society Organizations and development partners from Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Zambia are expected to participate in this capacity building program.
“Sustainable and accountable investments in health will add value for money and will greatly improve the quality of our lives, our people and our countries. There is ample evidence on the continent that show that this is doable,” said William Ngimwa, Tanzanian Minister of Finance during his speech at the High Level Dialogue on Value for Money, Sustainability and Accountability in the Health Sector that took place in July 2012 in Tunisia.
Some 50 African Ministers of Finance and Health endorsed a Tunis Declaration during the High Level Dialogue. It set the foundation to enhance leadership and collaboration between Ministries of Finance and Health in Africa and leverage the role of parliamentarians and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in ensuring value for money for investments made in social sectors.
“The Bank has committed to put the recommendations from the Tunis declaration into practice. This is why we have mobilized partners and funding to design a training course to improve value for money in social sectors in Africa -- which is the first of its kind,” said Agnes Soucat, AfDB’s Director for Human Development.
The AfDB in collaboration with the Harmonization for Health in Africa (HHA), East African Community, Collaborative Africa Budget Initiative (CABRI), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Clinton Health Access Initiative as well as the Norwegian Agency for Development Co-Operation (NORAD) and GAVI organized and financed this four-day event.
Some 65 participants will be exposed to various strategies and tools to improve value for money in social sectors.
“One of the best examples to improve value for money and health outcomes is Rwanda”, said Richard Sezibera, Secretary General of East African Community. “The country has been able to transform what was considered to be one of the weakest health care systems into one that excels in socio-economic outcomes through application of instruments such as Result Based Financing (RBF),” he added.
This first capacity building training will also offer a unique opportunity for the participants to:
In June 2013 the AfDB approved a USD 5.7 million Multi Donor Trust Fund with the support Government of Norway and GAVI.
The AfDB has also developed a joint program with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) which organizes annually a Ministerial Forum for Ministers of Finance inviting to Harvard University (Boston, USA) a select group of serving Ministers of Finance from Africa, together with a distinguished resource group of long-serving and former ministers from around the world.