Forum Holds Fiscal Federalism Training In Southern Sudan

Mr. Ayul Abwol Dak (far right), addresses participants at Sudan event. Mr. Dak is the Director of of the Southern Sudan Fiscal, Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission. To his right are Dr. Abraham Matoc, Principal of the University of Rumbek; Hon. Jackline, State Assembly Member; and Mr. John Ogoto Kanisio, a Director General of Finance

The Forum of Federations held a three-day training course in Southern Sudan from Feb. 26-28, 2010, titled Foundations of Fiscal Federalism, in partnership with the Southern Sudan Fiscal, Financial Allocation and Monitoring Commission.

The event was held in Juba, the capital of South Sudan, for state ministers of finance and directors general from Southern Sudan’s 10 states, of which Juba is the capital.

The session addressed the roles, responsibilities and interactions of different tiers of government with regard to expenditure and revenue assignments and intergovernmental transfers within a federal system. This was done through presentations, facilitated discussion and practical exercises.

The impact of these important issues was also discussed in terms how they affect peace and development in Sudan.

Discussion centered on evaluating the current revenue sharing formula, challenges to data collection stemming from contested census results, and policy options for developing a more equitable set of distribution criteria.

The course, was complemented by a series of one-day fiscal federalism presentations on March 1, 2 and 3 for a broader audience of southern political stakeholders, including journalists with the Agency for Independent Media (AIM); leadership and technical staff of the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Finance; and with students, faculty, and staff of the Center for Peace and Development at the University of Juba.

The course was held in collaboration with the UNDP and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MoFEP), and included participation of Chairman Rok of the fiscal monitoring commission; Mr. Aggrey Tissa, the undersecretary of the MoFEP, and senior representatives of key Government of Southern Sudan institutions.

Dr. Michael Bell of the Institute of Public Policy, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C., led the training team. Other team members included Dr. VN Alok, Associate Professor of Public Finance and Chairman, Centre for Economic Analysis and Financial Management at the Indian Institute of Public Administration, New Delhi; and Dr. Abraham Matoc, economist and principal of the University of Rumbek, Sudan.

The Forum’s fiscal federalism program supports the capacity of the Fiscal Commissions in both Juba and Khartoum to serve as independent institutions, as they were designed to be under the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement and under the Interim Constitutions of Sudan, and to engage a broader emerging constituency for improved management and oversight with regard to implementing 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 to implement key federal components of the CPA and at the same time build the basis for a broader and deeper national understanding about and commitment to 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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