n Africa Insight - What constrains effective public financial management in African democracies? A preliminary analysis

Volume 43, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


While the management of the area of public finance is highly legislated, the waste with which these resources slip through the public coffers remains a paradox. The purpose of this article is to examine the five self-reinforcing variables that are mostly fingered for this dilemma. These are: (1) public finance as a political process; (2) parameters for open and orderly public finance management dispensation (spread across the three branches or spheres of government); (3) the impact on socioeconomic costs and benefits of revenue collection and expenditure; (4) the complexity of public finance with its interrelated sub-systems; and (5) poorly organised citizenry and weak civil society organisations that cannot demand accountability. These are major obstacles to effective public financial management.

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