Course on governmental transfers offered to state and federal fiscal officials

Fiscal training session experts (front row, from left to right): William Fox, USA; Tania Ajam, South Africa; and Abraham Matoc, Sudan; join Sudanese participants (back row left to right): Ayul Abwol Dak, Southern Sudan’s Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission (FFAMC); Susan Omer, Ministry of Federal Governance; Fadul Abd Elhadi, National Audit Chamber; and Mai Musa, Assistant, Director of Allocations , FFAMC, in Khartoum.

The Forum of Federations recently held training sessions in Sudan titled Designing Effective Intergovernmental Transfer in collaboration with Sudan’s Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission (FFAMC).

The training was attended by more than 40 participants. They included the chairman, secretary general, and other senior representatives of the FFAMC, and director general level staff from 15 northern state ministries of finance, several federal ministries, plus two representatives of the Southern Sudan Fiscal and Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission.

The course, held in Khartoum, Sudan, from March 7 12, 2010, was conducted by specialists from three countries. They were Tania Ajam, an economist at the University of Cape Town and member of the South African Financial and Fiscal Commission; William Fox, economist and Director of the Center for Business & Economic Research at the University of Tennessee, USA; and Dr. Abraham Matoc, economist and principal of the University of Rumbek, Sudan.

Sudan is in the process of building a system essential to every federal country: a fiscal transfer system for sharing the collection and division of revenues among different orders of government.

Thus a key question posed on the first day of the workshop by one of the state representatives illustrated the group’s expectations: "How can Sudan design an intergovernmental system which achieves most of the potential benefits and minimizes potential costs?”

The objective of the course was to provide participants with the tools to answer this question and to offer them with the opportunity to engage in strategic discussions on the design of an improved fiscal transfer system.

The Forum’s fiscal federalism program in Sudan has two goals. The first is to support the capacity of the fiscal commissions in both Juba the capital of Southern Sudan – and Khartoum to serve as independent institutions, as they were designed to be under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and under the Interim Constitutions of Sudan. The second goal is to engage a broader emerging constituency for improved management and oversight to implement fiscal federalism throughout Sudan.

The overall goal of the Forum’s multifaceted two-year Federal Governance and Peace program in Sudan is to strengthen capacities of institutional bodies to implement key federal components of the CPA, and build the basis for a broader and deeper national understanding about the role of federalism for sustainable peace in Sudan.

The Forum of Federation’s work in Sudan is funded by Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT).

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