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mefmi elearningAs part of ongoing efforts to assist member countries prepare public sector debt statistics in line with international standards and address the demand for reliable debt data for policy, economic analysis, credit assessment and regional integration processes, the Institute of Capacity Development (ICD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) organised a training on Public Sector Debt Statistics (PSDS) from 21 August to 1 September 2017 in Washington DC, USA.

Participants to the workshop were drawn from forty-two countries and regional organizations from around the world, working in relevant departments, particularly in Ministries of Finance (or equivalent institutions) and Central Banks, and whose responsibilities include compilation and dissemination of government finance and public-sector debt statistics. Two (2) of the participants were from the MEFMI region - Malawi and Uganda; and the Institute was represented by Mr. Tiviniton Makuve, Programme Manager in the Debt Management Programme.

The training was delivered through lectures and discussions, which were followed by group work involving application of the concepts learnt. Each participant made a country presentation on the status of compilation and dissemination of debt statistics in their country or region. In addition, participants discussed the status of PSDS development, and gave views on capacity development requirements in their countries and regions. In this regard, Mr. Makuve delivered a presentation focusing on progress and challenges faced by countries in the region, and discussed the Institute’s efforts to address these challenges. He highlighted the need for continued collaboration between MEFMI and the IMF in strengthening member countries’ capacity. While only four countries in the MEFMI region (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Malawi) have reported statistics to the joint World Bank/IMF Public Debt Statistics Database, there are "low-hanging fruits" within the region, as evidenced by results of Debt Management Performance Assessments (DeMPA) conducted in the past five years, showing that at least eight countries already have debt databases that meet international standards.

The workshop enhanced participants’ capacity to collect, compile and disseminate public sector debt statistics based on existing international standards and conventions. For MEFMI, the knowledge acquired by its staff member is expected to enhance the Institute’s capacity to support member countries' efforts towards improving accuracy, coverage and availability of data on public sector debt statistics. In addition, Mr. Makuve forged networks with peers from other regions, which is important in facilitating continuous knowledge sharing going forward.