The Role of Financial Programming in Macroeconomic Policy Management
Most African governments have made considerable progress in pursuing macroeconomic stabilization, usually under the tutelage of the International Monetary Fund. Policy targets for the IMF-supported programs are universally derived from some variation of the standard financial programming methodology. Yet most governments in the region remain dependent on the Fund for the technical analysis. This technical dependency often engenders a lack of ownership of program targets, and the targets themselves are often unrealistic, on the side of austerity. This paper makes the case that African governments must now develop their own financial programming models and system, to take command of the technical analysis, negotiate with the Fund in more pro-active terms, and establish the foundation for a deeper commitment to prudent macroeconomic policy management. Every country has economists who have been trained in financial programming. This is a start, but a concerted effort is needed to develop practical, customized applications, with supporting systems to implement, maintain and refine the models.
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