25/05/2011 - The OECD and South Africa will open a centre to help African governments manage their debt and bond markets in Midrand, South Africa.
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría and South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan will sign a Memorandum of Understanding at a ceremony today during the OECD Ministerial Council Meeting.
The centre, which will start operations on 30 June 2011, aims to encourage co-operation among African debt managers and to support the development of sound practices in public debt and cash management, in order to create stronger securities markets. It will also encourage the implementation of a stronger infrastructure for government securities markets.
“As the OECD celebrates its 50th anniversary, this new centre symbolizes the organisation’s increasing co-operation with emerging and developing economies,” said OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría. “The centre will help reduce the cost of managing public debt and encourage the development of financial sector products including mortgage loans, micro-credit and financing for small and medium-sized firms, ultimately supporting Africa’s development.”
"With the most advanced financial market on the African continent, we look forward to partnering with the OECD in facilitating and building capacity of our neighbours in the region," said South African Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.
Experts operating from the centre will train African government officials and work with them to develop better markets and practices across the continent. The centre will also create a government debt database to monitor and analyse debt and sovereign risk in Africa, as well as conduct regular research and monitor bond market developments.
The OECD has been working since 2006 with government debt management officials from Angola, Cameroon, Gabon, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda and Zambia.
For comment or further information, journalists should contact Hans Blommestein, head of the OECD’s Bond Market and Public Debt Management Unit (tel. + 33 1 45 24 79 90)