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African Finance Ministries, Social Media and Public Financial Management
Can Social Media make a contribution to improving public financial management (PFM) and fiscal transparency?
The present relatively limited use of Facebook by African finance ministries is at a time when Facebook usage in Africa is exploding with the number of African Facebook accounts more than doubling in the eighteen months ended 30 June 2015.
The content of many recent African finance ministry Facebook postings is of an economic or financial nature whilst the range of issues covered is quite varied and sometimes adventurous. Several countries now receive a regular flow of public comments, ranging from appreciative to openly hostile.
Finance ministries have to work hard to win attention in Social Media. At present, finance ministry website visits originating from Social Media are very limited. On the other hand, given the rapid growth in Social Media use, particularly Facebook, there is huge potential for using this communication channel as a gateway to website-based information and online service delivery.
Politicians in some countries have begun to fear Social Media for its capacity to spread discontent and inflame communities. So why should finance ministries choose to use Social Media? We think Social Media offers finance ministries opportunities to increase public understanding of public finance and budgeting, expand the opportunities for engaging the private sector in business partnerships with the government, and even improve the willingness to pay taxes. If this is a reasonable supposition then perhaps development partners and even private sector investors will begin to take an interest in the potential relevance of Social Media to public financial management.
Read PFMConnect’s blog. The blog is now available at http://blog-
Note: PFMConnect is a consultancy designed support the development of good standards of public financial management in order to improve public service delivery, extend public accountability, encourage local business development and combat corruption. Its work is principally centred on developing countries, working in cooperation with governments and other stakeholders.
For additional information on PFMConnect, please visit our website or contact david.fellows@