Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, reiterated the need for prudent management of public finances in order to alleviate difficulties and allow investments in sectors critical for growth.
The minister said so in her address at the opening of the joint session of the Sub-Committee for General Supervision and Coordination of Budgetary, Financial and Administrative Matters and of the fifteen ministers of the African Union (F-15) meeting in Accra.
“As you are about to consider the 2022 budget proposals, allow me to congratulate you, Members of the Subcommittee and the F-15, on the good work you are doing, in particular, your ability to reduce for the first time, the 2021 budget of the African Union during the 2020 sessions, “she said.
“This achievement is particularly remarkable as the reduction has had a positive impact on the assessed contribution of Member States to the Union,” she said.
She noted that the economy of the African continent is expected to contract between -1.1% and -0.8%, according to the African Union report and -1.6% according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Madam Ayorkor Botchwey said that as a result of the COVID -19 pandemic, all African economies have suffered negative impacts.
“It is important that public finances are managed prudently in order to alleviate difficulties and allow investments in sectors critical for growth,” she said.
“I therefore urge you all to work hard to ensure that the necessary austerity measures are put in place in the 2022 budget.”
She urged participants to be guided by the “Golden Rules” for good management of AU finances, adopted in January 2018, as they discuss the 2022 budget of the AU and its organs.
She noted that these rules provide them with the basic principles to ensure credible budgeting and effective financial management of the African Union.
“As Member States, we would like to see the value of the contributions we make; value in terms of the impact of the programs and projects that we deploy and implement on the continent on the lives of our peoples.
“Like many of our Member States, the Government of Ghana is particularly concerned with the competence, skills and effectiveness of the leadership and staff of the Union,” she said.
She said that “we want the quota policy to be respected in order to ensure that all Member States are fully represented in the Commission and not just a few.
“We are pleased that after years of deliberation, our Ministers of Justice and Attorneys General have finally reviewed and approved the Financial Rules and Regulations (FRR) and Staff Rules and Regulations (SRR), which would be reviewed and adopted by the Executive Council at our next meeting, which should take place in October 2021. “
She added that this would not have been possible without this subcommittee and our F-15 experts.
She said that in recent years she had followed with interest the joint meetings of the General Supervision and Coordination Sub-Committee on Budgetary, Financial and Administrative Matters and F15 Technical Experts.
“The role you play is essential for our ability to implement our continental ambitions as an African Union,” she said.