One of the most pressing challenges facing cities on the African continent in the twenty first century is the ability for municipalities to effectively collect and manage city revenue. Clearly local government revenues in many African states are generally not enough to develop and provide adequate urban services to the region’s fast growing urban populations and most cities have chronic budget deficits. Municipal governments’ ability to generate revenue through taxation is limited because of the central governments’ prerogative of imposing taxes and determining tax rates. The only substantial revenue source, which is almost universally at the disposal of local authorities, is property taxation but it has shortcomings in its potential to increase revenues (e.g. need for periodic reassessments to update property values). Another key challenge is the low rate of actual tax collection.

While there is a need for greater sharing of revenue sources between central and local government, the yield potential of sources currently available to local authorities is far from being fully exploited. Thus, significant results could be achieved through improvements in collection from currently available revenue sources, especially property rates, business licenses and service charges and additional sources of revenue could be investigated.
 
This tailor-made Master Class will provide the participants with practical and operational information on how to best manage city revenues, given our developmental contexts.
 
The objective of the Master Class is to raise the capacity level to mobilize funds, facilitate investment and help overcome poverty. The specific objective is to improve the management of cities through better revenue management. Beyond fostering the building of local government practitioner capacity on the continent, the Master Class will foster south-to-south cooperation and give the participants an opportunity to learn from each other.
 
Participating sub-nationals interested in reforms and trying to access capital markets for their investments will have the opportunity to pursue further technical assistance support from sponsors at the event. PPIAF in particular, a multi-donor trust fund administered by the World Bank, will guide participants through a self-assessment exercise with the objective of developing long-term action plans for each interested municipality.

Prior Revenue Management Master Classes
 
As a first step towards achieving the objective outlined above, a highly successful Revenue Management Master Class was held in March 2012 in Durban, South Africa. Applications were received from over 100 people wanting to attend the 3-day event but seats were allocated to 40 delegates (10 delegates from South Africa and 30 delegates from abroad). A second Master Class was held in November 2013 in Accra, Ghana.
 
Due to the overwhelming demand, PPIAF, CEFEB and MILE have decided to embark on a third Master Class in Nairobi, Kenya. Also, to allow the participants to benefit more from the speakers and from networking, the duration of the Master Class has been extended from three days to five days.

Scope of the Master Class
 
The Master Class aims at enabling the participants to improve the management of their city thanks to revenue management strategies adapted to their local context. The different sessions will cover the following:
 
Commencing with a strategic planning overview to set the context for financial management, this learning session then provides the participants with practical and operational information on how best to manage city revenues . The general context for Financial Management is set followed by an exploration of the current situation of African Cities. The key question of additional sources of municipal revenue is then dealt with, with insights from invited national speakers.
 
Operational tools to collect revenues efficiently are then explored: from Municipal Property Valuations (GIS), Reliable metering systems, tariff calculations, billing systems, revenue clearance, credit control management through to pro-poor revenue management strategies and electronic revenue management systems. Participants will also benefit by listening to the latest presentations of the PPIAF and of AFD/CEFEB.
 
Adopting the World Bank Institute’s approach of blended learning, the Master Class allows time of much debate, and discussion.
 
Expected Outputs
 
The expected outputs are that the participants will leave the seminar with practical ideas and tools that will enable them to:

• Improve the revenue collection systems;
• Implement new revenue collection systems;
• Identify new sources of revenue;
• Implement a pro-poor revenue management strategy, improve existing  ones;
• Identify strengths and weaknesses of their own institutions’ financial management;
• Develop a multi-year action plan to strengthen the creditworthiness of their own institutions.
Through the information provided to local government practitioners, the Master Class will contribute to:
• Increase the knowledge of local government practitioners in the field of revenue management;
• Improve the cities’ creditworthiness and their ability to raise domestic private finance;
• Improve the delivery of sustainable basic services;
• Build practitioner support networks that financial managers can draw on for mentorship and technical support;
• The sharing of expertise and the technical support will not be limited to the Master Class: Exchanges programmes after the Master Class and on-going technical support will be organized and is considered as part of the Master Class “package”.

Target audience:
 
The five day Master Class will be run in English and will gather 40 to 50 participants from African and Middle East cities that have a similar level of development (e.g. decentralization of water and electricity services, ability to borrow…) and hence similar challenges. The participants will be a homogeneous group of senior, technical financial managers who have a great sphere of influence in their workplace and they will be screened to ensure that their cities will benefit most from what will be offered.
 
Organization and Cost:

Duration: 5 days
 
Date and location: 14th-18th of October 2013 in Nairobi, Kenya.
 
The event is sponsored by PPIAF & AFD/CEFEB. This includes accommodation, catering and transfer from the airport to the hotel.
However, all AIR TRAVEL COSTS and incidental expenditure are expected to be borne by the participants.
 
Registration Procedure

If you would like to attend this event, please complete the attached registration form and send it via email to Ms. Lauren Wilson (lwilson1@worldbank.org), with copy to Ms. Elodie Parent (parente@afd.fr) and Ms. Virginie Dago (dagov@afd.fr).
 
For enquiries feel free to contact via e-mail the event organizers listed above.
Please note the following:

• In order to maximize participation from as many different municipalities as possible, attendance of a maximum of four delegates from each organization will be permitted (practitioners and elected representatives).
• Registration DOES NOT guarantee attendance, as there is limited space for this event. The closing date for registration is 15 September 2013.

• A final programme will be forwarded to you in early October.
• All delegates will be notified in writing of their registration no later than close of business on Friday 20th September 2013.

 

Past Events:

 
MILE in partnership with CEFEB and the World Bank are hosting the Revenue Management Master Class in Ghana from 27-29 November 2012. For all the learning material from this event please go to: Multimedia Library
 
MILE in partnership with CEFEB and the World Bank hosted the Revenue Management Master Class from 27-29 March 2012. For all the learning material from this event please go to: Multimedia Library