Egypt, South Korea cooperate on capacity building for public finance management

The Korea International Cooperation Agency’s (KOICA) office in Egypt — in partnership with the Korea Institute for Development Strategy (KDS) — kicked-off an online country training program for the Ministry of Finance titled ‘Capacity Development of Public Financial Management’ from 1 to August 11.

The three-year program consists of capacity-building sub-programs that will run until 2024.

On August 10, KOICA Egypt and the Ministry of Finance hosted a closing ceremony for the first batch of trainees. The ceremony was attended by Ahmed Ashraf Kouchouk, Vice Minister of Finance for Fiscal Policies and Institutional Reform; Choi Byoung Sun, Minister Plenipotentiary from the Embassy of the Republic of Korea; Kim Jinyoung, KOICA Egypt’s Country Director; and Doaa Hamdy Mounir, Head of the International Affairs Department.

During the ceremony, Kouchouk congratulated the trainees, saying that “this capacity building program is significant in enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of the Ministry of Finance’s employees, as extracting lessons from South Korea’s success story is beneficial for any country in its path towards development. ”

“The action plans developed by the trainees during the training will receive great attention from the ministry. In this regard, a series of meetings will be conducted with the trainees to determine the ones that match the ministry’s current strategy, and the ministry will follow up with the implementation.”

For his part, Choi said: “This training comes in light of the Korean government’s designation of Egypt as a priority development partner during the period from 2021 to 2025.”

“This is the start of further cooperation to enhance and expand the scope of the partnership between the two governments,” he added.

“I was very pleased listening to all the action plans presented by the attendees,” said Kim.

“Especially because public finance management and procurement are two things that cannot be separated. We hope this training program can synergise with a joint project with the ministry for enhancing the e-procurement system.”

Furthermore, Hamdy commented that “the trainees were very satisfied with the outcomes of the program,” expressing her hope to continue cooperating with the Korean side.

This training was designed to seek a sustainable plan to implement public financial management reforms by determining the current state of improvement in the organization and system; explore effective means of operation of financial management and improving human resources management; and improve the professional competence, leadership, and accountability of mid-level officials for the integrated management of public finance management reform.

The training included workshops and lectures which covered Korea’s financial management systems and modernization of the taxation and customs systems, in addition to lectures discussing topics such as innovation in the government procurement system and financial auditing.

The participants also developed action plans for the issues identified in the country report by incorporating knowledge and experiences from the training.

The trainees expressed their gratitude for the program and their feeling of achievement for completing the intensive courses, learning from the invaluable experiences that South Korea went through.

Furthermore, KOICA and the Ministry of Finance are planning on embarking on a project for enhancing the e-procurement system in Egypt. This project aims to build an electronic procurement system that can increase the efficiency and transparency of the public procurement process.

KOICA and the Ministry will also re-engineer the business process to ensure that it is aligned with the institutional framework and develop a roadmap for the delivery and implementation of the new system across the public sector.

Moreover, the Korean government will continue to support the Egyptian government’s efforts to strengthen public finance management through capacity-building programs and technical cooperation projects.

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