Remarks by Ambassador Christopher J. Lamora
At the Launch of the Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund Project
Wednesday, February 15, 2023, 8:30 am
Maroua City Hall
The Divisional Officer of Maroua 1(to be confirmed)
President of AfroLeadership
Representatives of Civil Society Organizations
Mesdames et Messieurs,
It is a great honor to be here today among such distinguished company. I want to congratulate the President of AfroLeadership, Mr. Charlie Ngounou, city council leadership, and the citizens of Maroua for embarking on this truly critical project to build the capacity of local community members to participate in the budget making process, improve transparency and accountability, and increase access to government services.
Supporting Cameroon’s goal to improve governance is one of the U.S. Embassy’s top priorities and we are happy this initiative is able advance fiscal transparency efforts.
Why is fiscal transparency important? Fiscal transparency is a critical element of effective public financial management, helping to build market confidence, and supporting economic sustainability and stability. Transparent fiscal systems provide information to legislatures, private markets, civil society, and citizens —all of whom have a stake in the financial decision-making processes. Transparency also equips them with the information necessary to advocate for and foster economic growth and development.
Government accountability is strengthened when citizens have a window into public expenditures. This data equips citizens with the information needed to hold their leadership accountable and facilitates better-informed public debate.
History shows us that governments with greater fiscal transparency enjoy better access to domestic and international credit markets, are less prone to destabilizing debts and deficits, and are better prepared to address fiscal risks. Fiscal transparency supports business-enabling environments that are more attractive for domestic and international private sector investments and facilitates international observation of fiscal developments that can help mitigate the ripple effects of national, regional, and even global economic shocks.
Since its creation in 2012, our Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund has supported projects in 65 countries to enhance budget transparency, advance best practices in public financial management, and improve transparency in natural resource extraction. This is the second Fiscal Transparency Innovation Fund project we have supported in Cameroon since 2018.
We are pleased that you are helping to build capacity for research, analysis, and monitoring of public finances in the Far North Region of Cameroon. This is a step in the right direction for greater accountability and economic development.
Thank you for having me here today and keep up the good work. I look forward to hearing about the results of your efforts.