Including CARTAC, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has eight regional technical assistance centers in the Pacific, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, and Central America which function to help countries strengthen human and institutional capacity to design and implement policies that promote growth and reduce poverty. Work is progressing on establishing another regional center in Africa.
The African Regional Technical Assistance Centers (East Afritac, South Afritac, Central Afritac, West Afritac) are part of the IMF’s Africa Capacity-Building Initiative launched in May 2002. Responding to calls from African leaders, including under the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Initiative promotes strengthening the capacity of African countries to design and implement their poverty-reducing strategies, as well as to improve the coordination of capacity-building technical assistance in the PRSP process. As part of the Initiative, four African Regional Technical Assistance Centers (AFRITACs) have been established.
East AFRITAC was opened in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in 2002, and now serves seven countries in East Africa (Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda, Tanzania, and Uganda). West AFRITAC was opened in Bamako, Mali, in 2003, to serve ten countries in West Africa (Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’ Ivoire, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, and Togo). Central AFRITAC was opened in Libreville, Gabon, in 2007, to serve countries in the CEMAC group, plus Burundi and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. South AFRITAC was opened in Port Louis, Mauritius, in May 2011, to serve 13 countries in Southern Africa (Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe). Work is in progress to open one more AFRITAC, covering the non-francophone countries in West Africa (AFRITAC West 2). The AFRITACs are financed by contributions from a number of donors, the IMF, as well as host and beneficiary countries. Current donors include the African Development Bank, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the European Investment Bank, the European Commission, France, Germany, Italy, Kuwait, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The Middle East Regional Technical Assistance Center (METAC) was established in Beirut, Lebanon, in 2004, to serve ten countries/territories in the Middle East (Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, West Bank and Gaza, and Yemen). METAC’s main objective is to help strengthen capacity for effective macroeconomic and financial management in the region, and to support the region’s integration into the world economy. A particular focus is to help post-conflict countries in the region achieve macroeconomic stability and develop basic institutions for policy-making. METAC is designed to enhance coordination among development partners and to promote effective implementation of economic initiatives within the Middle East region. METAC’s current program cycle is financed by contributions from the European Investment Bank, the European Commission, France, the IMF, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, the host country Lebanon, and beneficiary countries.
The Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic Regional Technical Assistance Center (CAPTAC-DR) started operations in May 2009 in Guatemala. It serves Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama. The Center’s technical assistance is focused on financial sector regulation and supervision, tax and customs policy and administration, public financial management, money and public debt markets, and macroeconomic statistics. Improved institutions and increased regional integration are the objectives. The Center is funded by Canada, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the European Union, Germany, the Inter-American Development Bank, the IMF, Mexico, Spain, the host country Guatemala, and beneficiary countries.
The Pacific Financial Technical Assistance Center (PFTAC) was established in Suva, Fiji, in 1993, now serving 16 Pacific island countries and territories, including the Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor-Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Its current program cycle is funded by the Asian Development Bank, Australia, the IMF, New Zealand, and the host country Fiji.