Stronger financial management will arise in the wake of Ebola

13 May 15

The Ebola crisis is likely to lead to stronger public financial management in the West African countries that were affected, according to a senior World Bank official.

Speaking at the Africa Congress of Accountants in Mauritius yesterday, Renaud Seligmann, who heads the bank’s West and Central Africa Financial Management Unit, described the payment controls and internal and external audit systems that were put in place during the outbreak to ensure healthcare workers received hazard pay and that aid reached the places it was needed.

‘That was hugely important to the people of the affected countries who didn’t trust their governments but also to the international community who were pouring millions in,’ he told ACOA delegates.

In a video interview following his session, Seligmann told Public Finance International: ‘Overall, the Ebola crisis will have led to an increase in transparency and accountability in the management and use of public resource, so as we rebuild these countries and communities, we can hope to rebuild them better.’

The session also heard from Jean Moira Awinja Wameyo, manager for fiduciary services at the African Development Bank, who said public financial management is a central goal in all the countries the AfDB works in.

‘A lot of money is given to ensure countries can build capacity,’ she said.

But Wameyo stressed that not all African countries are the same and that solutions need to be tailored to an individual country’s needs.

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