This paper examines the institutional arrangements of the macro-fiscal function in 16 African countries. Most ministries of finance (MoFs) have established a macro-fiscal department or unit, but their functions, size, structure and outputs vary considerably. Based on a survey, we present data on staff size, functional scope and the forecasting performance of macro-fiscal departments and identify common challenges in the countries reviewed. Some MoFs perform many macro-fiscal functions, but actions of various kinds are needed to strengthen their macro-fiscal departments. This paper provides some guidance for policy-makers in the region for enhancing the quality and scope of macro-fiscal outputs.
-fiscal functions exclude debt sustainability analysis and debt monitoring.
We observe that, amongst our 16 countries with a reasonably comprehensive set of MFDoutputs, most have adopted the “single division within the MoF” model for its MFD. Such an arrangement facilitates the coordination of macro-fiscal sub-functions. However, we would not conclude that there is single model for MFDs towards which all MoFs and planning/economy ministries should converge. The organizational arrangements actually adopted reflect the demands on the MFDs, their context (such as the size of