International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and the Mauritian authorities exchanged letters of understanding today formalizing Mauritius’ commitment to help finance the IMF’s new Africa Training Institute, serving sub-Saharan Africa. Mauritius has committed to provide substantial support through contributions to a dedicated multi-donor trust fund at the IMF, and in-kind contributions including the provision of suitable facilities in Mauritius. The Australian Agency for International Development and the Chinese authorities have also pledged financial support for the Institute, which will start operations in 2013.
“I am delighted to see this Africa Training Institute taking shape. The Institute will help us to respond more effectively to the growing demand for training in sub-Saharan Africa by being closer to the ground, and to support capacity development by better integrating technical assistance and training. The Africa Training Institute will allow us to respond to rising demand for macroeconomic training from our members across sub-Saharan Africa,” Ms. Lagarde said at a ceremony in Port Louis.
The Africa Training Institute will offer courses and seminars for officials from central banks, ministries of finance, and other government departments from across sub-Saharan Africa. Training will cover macroeconomic policymaking and financial programming, public finance, exchange rate and monetary policies, economic integration, and financial sector issues, including banking supervision. The training will complement the activities of the IMF’s Regional Technical Assistance Centers in Africa (AFRITACs)—one of which is also based in Mauritius, serving the Southern African region—as well as other regional initiatives.
The IMF offers technical assistance and training to member countries in addition to its economic and financial surveillance and lending operations. The IMF’s technical assistance helps member countries develop more effective institutions, legal frameworks and policies to promote economic stability and growth, while training strengthens the ability of member countries’ officials to analyze economic developments and formulate and implement effective policies. In the year ending April 30, 2012, some 7,800 officials from member countries attended IMF training courses at headquarters in Washington, D.C., and at donor-supported regional training centers in Austria, Kuwait, and Singapore.