Burkina Faso: Ouagadougou workshop focuses on the transfer of financial resources to local authorities

Published on 28/02/2024 | La rédaction

Burkina Faso

On Tuesday February 27, 2024, Mariam Hien/Zerbo, technical advisor to the Ministry of the Economy, presided over the opening of a national workshop to examine the draft directive of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) on the transfer of at least 20% of state tax revenues to local authorities. This two-day national workshop is the first in a series of others to be held in the seven other UEMOA member countries, with a view to enriching the content of the draft directive.

Studies have shown that one of the reasons for the spread of terrorism in West Africa and the UEMOA region is the lack of development in the localities taken over by these armed groups. Local development therefore requires greater commitment from public authorities, who are called upon to promote local development through the territorialization of public policies. Efforts have been made in this direction, but the results have been mixed in terms of transferring powers and allocating financial resources.

In response to this problem, the UEMOA Commission has committed itself alongside the States, through the initiative of a directive designed to encourage the transfer of at least 20% of tax revenues to the union's local authorities. To better equip local authorities to take charge of local development, a 48-hour national workshop is being held in Ouagadougou, with financial support from the WAEMU Commission.financial support from the UEMOA Commission and Swiss cooperation through the Regional Support Program for Financial Decentralization in West Africa (PRADEF). The aim is to present the content of the draft directive to stakeholders at national level, and to gather comments, amendments and recommendations to enrich the draft directive so that it can be accepted by the evaluation and adoption bodies.

Specifically, the main aspects to be examined during the workshop are transfer rates and funding sources. "This workshop aims to promote the effective transfer of financial resources from the State to local authorities. This process has been underway for several years now by the WAEMU Commission, in close collaboration with member states. UEMOA has adopted a participatory approach. This is why national workshops are being held. "We're starting with Burkina Faso," says Mame Marie Bernard Monteiro/Camara, Director of Regional Planning in the UEMOA Commission's Department of Community Regional Planning and Transport.

The national workshop in Burkina Faso is the first in a series of workshops to be held in the seven other UEMOA countries. These workshops will culminate in a regional workshop bringing together all UEMOA member states. Ultimately, "this process should enable local development to be seen as an opportunity for member states. And transferring these resources to local authorities will enable them to promote territorial development through various territorial projects, to the great benefit of our populations", concluded Ms. Monteiro.

Since the Constitution of June 2, 1991, Burkina Faso has made decentralization a priority in order to build grassroots development. This political choice has led to the adoption of several instruments, including the forward-looking vision of decentralization to 2040. "Each year, the government makes financial resources available to local authorities to enable them to assume the responsibilities transferred to them.Mariam Hien/Zerbo, technical advisor to the Ministry of the Economy.

As proof of this, she points to global allocations, subsidies such as the local authorities' share of the tax on petroleum products, the surface tax, drawing rights granted by theAgence d'appui au développement des collectivités territoriales, and certain state-financed projects and programs, the local development mining fund, and allocations from sectoral ministries.

While these efforts are to be applauded, there is still a great deal of work to be done. Local authorities continue to face numerous difficulties, exacerbated by the security crisis, which is having a major impact on their development. "The financing of local authorities in Burkina Faso is therefore a major concern for the government", noted the technical advisor to the Ministry of the Economy.

It is in this context that an effective financing mechanism for local authorities has been in place since 2020. Among other achievements, this mechanism has led to the reform of the Permanent Fund for Local Authorities and the creation of a tax on motor vehicles, which have significantly improved the financing of local authorities. In the same vein, a financial programming law is currently being drawn up. "Today's workshop is fully in line with the Burkinabe government's objective of strengthening support for local authorities to better manage their responsibilities.s to take better charge of the competencies transferred to them, in order to improve local public service provision for the population", says Mariam Hien/Zerbo.

In his welcome address, the Cabinet Director of the Commissioner in charge of the Union's Department of Community Spatial Planning and Transport, expressed his gratitude to the Minister of the Economy, and his heartfelt thanks to all those involved.In his welcome address, the Director of the Cabinet of the Commissioner in charge of the Community Spatial Planning and Transport Department of the Union, expressed his gratitude to the Minister of the Economy, and his warm thanks to Swiss cooperation, which is supporting the draft directive designed to encourage the transfer of at least 20% of tax revenues to the Union's local authorities.

Source: lefaso.net/

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