CABRI continues to build a unique community of peers in a collaborative effort to discover what works (when and how), with the ultimate aim of bringing about the functional management of public resources. In our view, systems that are functional are able to allocate available resources according to priorities and credible plans, monitor expenditure to ensure compliance, provide transparent and comprehensive reports, and hold to account those responsible for public expenditure.

Building on the recognition that CABRI has earned over the past decade, several new areas of work on institutional capabilities and public debt management were launched in the 2015/16 reporting period. The purpose of the programme on institutional capabilities is to work closely with ministries of finance to strengthen their capacity to improve budget credibility. Our focus includes analytical, regulatory, delivery and co-ordination capabilities. The programme on public debt management has made remarkable progress in establishing an action-oriented platform for debt managers to collaborate and share lessons on ways to improve public debt management and support the building of strong local currency markets.

We have become more innovative in our approach. Our work concentrates on identifying the real problems (and their causes) that affect African budget reforms, and developing actions with clear timeframes for practitioners to implement. Importantly, our approach creates an opportunity to address many of the non-technical challenges that all too often are the main source of the problem.

Senior budget and debt managers remain the focal point for our engagement with budget and public debt management teams and other units in finance, planning and a select number of line-ministries. Our development partners, regional and international development agencies, civil society organisations and academic institutions have been valuable contributors in the delivery of our work. These partnerships assist in shaping our approach and provide the much needed investment to bring about successful change in the way that public resources are managed in Africa.

Neil Cole

Executive secretary