Sergent Fabrice (PhD) is the Chief Health Analyst at Africa Development Bank; he spoke with our Senior Correspondent, Seye Joseph at ECOWAS Parliamentary Capacity Building on Value for Money, Accountability and Sustainability for Senior Official on the significant of the event to development of the region.
Can you tell us the essence of this program?
The essence of the program is to show parliamentarians in the regions the realities relating to value for money what are the tools to make sure we maximize the value for money in social expenditure. In the presentation that was shown to us this morning some graphs showing that the results obtained by some countries in terms of actual delivery of quality social services to the people are not perfectly correlated to the level of resources spent by these countries. There was another graph that was showing the percentage of assisting delivery in African countries varies from the same level of expenditure though there are parameters which may explain that reality which show us that there is a problem somewhere. Problem is that there countries which is at the same level of resources are going to do better than the others and in this regard one of the problem of African continent which I believe is about total 40 countries who have petrol or gas, if you look them are those particular countries, you will see that these are not best results.
Why we are here for two days is to show that, to explain it, to give reason why we have such a situation and equip parliamentarians with some tools to improve the situation. We know that parliamentarians are the ones who vote the budget every year, they are the ones who ask the reasons behind the last year budget if it works or not.
How many countries are represented here?
We have about seven or eight countries; I believe the time was not perfect. I know that there fifteen countries in the region, some are busy with their own government. I still believe is a good turnout.
What will the follow up be after this program to ensure that the participants implement what they are being taught here?
We are presently represented in a few countries in Africa and they are all sensitized in this approach, we have a policy dialogue on various subjects. We will not train only parliamentarians; we will also train senior officials in the ministry of health and finance. And ultimately, we may also have specific sessions for minister of health, education, finance and planning. It is about making sure that everybody is on the same page and on the same similar set of tools.
Corruption has been adequately highlighted here as one of the major impediment to development in Africa, how do see Africa Development Bank to tackling this challenge that may stand as an impediment to developments in Africa?
Corruption been has existing in some countries. It is recognized worldwide that is a problem. This is the extreme of ineffective result allocation. What we do with resources is completely wrong; it does not go with development objective which has become a concern. I don’t think we address that in direct line, we have many countries program that concentrate in a finance sector which aim to improve other mechanisms through which money is utilize, whether it is procurement mechanism, procurement regulations, audit, as well as public service and all teams especially staff of financial sector or working on these issues of course not in all the countries because we have different focus in many countries, we have a long time this type of program. What we are discussing here is the involvement of the civil society organisation as the watchdog, they can be set in motion in different countries to maximize the information given to people to work on and monitor.
Do you think there is a need to be a coordinated relationship between Civil Society and the lawmakers in Africa?
On general note in improving the situation of value for money and other development agenda requires the full collaboration of all parties. People have to learn to work together and secondly, in capacity dimension to this in November, we were training senior official of ministry of finance, education some of civil society organisations were there also to ensure that there development.