WASHINGTON, May 5, 2022 – The government of the Central African Republic has made significant efforts in recent years to improve public financial management, including through digitalization of services. Reforms aimed at digitalizing the tax administration have also been introduced.
To support the additional work needed to scale up these reforms, the World Bank approved a $35 million grant for the Public Sector Digital Governance Project and $30 million for the Investment and Business Competitiveness for Employment Project.
“Improving public financial management, transparency, and efficiency is central to the World Bank’s partnership with the Central African government, as is creating job opportunities for youth through a better private sector development,” said Han Fraeters, World Bank Country Manager for the Central African Republic. “Despite the difficult circumstances facing the country, it is important to remain engaged on an agenda that brings sustainable development impact to the people of the Central African Republic.”
Weak governance poses a challenge to sustainable economic growth and shared prosperity in the Central African Republic, which ranks 154th out of 180 countries in the 2021 Transparency International Corruption Index. The formal private sector remains small and is constrained by structural challenges, including limited access to finance, inadequate infrastructure, lack of skilled workers, deficiencies in the legal and regulatory frameworks, and a fragile security environment.
Financed by an International Development Association (IDA)* grant:
- The Public Sector Digital Governance Project seeks to (i) improve efficiency and transparency of public financial management and (ii) lay the foundation for digital governance in order to provide public services that foster confidence and inclusion. For example, the project will facilitate the payment of salaries to employees working remotely from their duty stations.
- The Investment and Business Competitiveness for Employment Project is supporting climate investment reforms, improving access to credit, and supporting SMEs and young workers. The beneficiaries will include young people seeking to strengthen their skills for employment, SMEs, and large enterprises. The project will strengthen the capacity of businesses in the areas of management, marketing, finance, business planning, and digital skills. Roughly 1,900 graduates/interns will benefit from economic inclusion programs in at least 514 local enterprises that will provide training or employment in selected trades.
* The World Bank’s International Development Association, established in 1960, helps the world’s poorest countries by providing grants and low to zero-interest loans for projects and programs that boost economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve poor people’s lives. IDA is one of the largest sources of assistance for the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. Resources from IDA bring positive change to the 1.6 billion people who live in IDA countries. Since 1960, IDA has supported development work in 113 countries. Annual commitments have averaged about $21 billion over the last three years, with about 61 percent going to Africa.