Financing Development for Children in Africa: The state of budget transparency and accountability in the continent
This report builds on the findings of the Open Budget Survey 2015, by taking a closer look at the 31 African countries included in the survey. It seeks to promote transparency and accountability in the use of government budgets in Africa. The rationale for this report is twofold.
First, Africa is witnessing a historic demographic change. Over the next 35 years, the child population will grow by more than 67 percent, from 561 million in 2016 to almost 941 million in 2050. As the child population in Africa soars, so investment in these children becomes essential for the future socioeconomic development of the continent, as well as for its political stability.
Second, Africa is witnessing a dramatic change in its development financing landscape. In most countries on the continent, domestic resources mobilized through taxation policies now make up the bulk of the funding of national budgets. Future development progress for children in Africa will thus
rely primarily on domestic financing channelled through national budgets. Understanding how these resources are invested and maximizing their impact for the growing number of African children requires budget transparency and accountability.
As the biggest source of finance available to any country, government budgets offer the largest scope for investment in children. Growth in government expenditure in Africa has far outstripped growth in aid. More and more government expenditure is now funded through domestic resources. Now, more than ever before, budgets have the potential to drive development and improve children’s lives – if they are properly managed.