By Phiwa Sikhondze
The Kingdom of Eswatini is set to undergo a digital transformation in its public finance management and procurement system with the support of the Republic of Rwanda.
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to collaborate on the development and customization of two digital systems: an Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) and an electronic Government Procurement System (eGP).
The government through the Ministry of Finance hosted a delegation from the Rwanda Corporation, a company that is owned by the government of Rwanda, yesterday at the Eswatini Revenue Services (ERS) headquarters for a wrap-up session about the digital reforms.
The session featured presentations from both sides on the overview, benefits and challenges of IFMIS and eGP systems.
The session was aimed at creating awareness and information sharing among the stakeholders involved in the project.
The Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, Sizakele Dlamini described the partnership as a milestone in Eswatini’s efforts to modernize its public finance management and procurement, aligning it with the sustainable development goals. She said that the IFMIS and eGP systems will improve the efficiency, transparency and accountability of the government’s financial operations and service delivery.
She noted that the system will come in handy as the scourge of fraud and corruption in public procurement is at alarming levels and needs to be addressed. The PS said the e-Government Procurement System is a step in the right direction in dealing with corruption in the country.
“We are exchanging information and technical resources and expertise. Now let us keep in mind the impacts that will come with the financial management reforms on the country’s economic growth and the efficiency and service delivery by the government. This IFMIS project is intended to achieve the following. Firstly, decision making in government and the processes should be faster. Again, we look at effective planning, budgeting, reporting and auditing processes and also the integration of the financial management system as a single,” she said.
The Chief Operations Officer of the Rwanda Corporation, Rosine Urujeni said that the corporation is honoured to partner with Eswatini on this important project. She said that Rwanda Corporation had extensive experience and knowledge in implementing IFMIS and eGP systems in Rwanda and other partner countries.
“We have seen how these systems have transformed our financial management practices, enhancing transparency, accountability and efficiency in the public sector. We have also seen how they have contributed to the expansion and development of our economy,” he said.
She added that co-operation was essential to the collective development of the global community, and that Rwanda Corporation was committed to working together with Eswatini in the pursuit of financial management reforms. “We are committed to working together with Eswatini in the pursuit of financial management reforms. We are invested in your success as partners, and we hope to leverage our existing bilateral relationship to foster an atmosphere of mutual growth, trust, and knowledge sharing,” she said.