Improving debt statistics in Chad

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Debt Statistic workshop in Chad, December 2023


A workshop on the Debt Statistics Bulletin (DSB) was organized by UNCTAD at the Ministry of Finance and Budget of Chad (MFB) from 4 to 8 December 2023, as part of a technical assistance project financed by the European Union. Eleven debt managers of the Budget and Debt departments participated in this one-week workshop held at the Chadian Treasury. 

The workshop objective was to upgrade the knowledge of the debt officers on standards, international initiatives and reporting requirements in debt statistics. The workshop focused on the development of a draft statistical bulletin including metadata (introduction, definitions, methodology used in the DSB, data sources, etc.) and statistical tables. In total, the proposed first draft statistical bulletin includes 25 tables and 8 graphs, using data from the DMFAS software used by the institution to manage external debt; domestic debt is being managed by the Budget Department in Excel. The content of the DSB will evolve over time depending on the debt situation in the country and its needs in terms of dissemination of information on the country's debt.

Historically, the ministry’s debt statistics unit was producing a DSB on a quarterly basis and its last published edition dated back to 2022. Consequently, during the workshop, it was decided to prepare a more comprehensive annual bulletin covering both domestic and external debt. A number of tables already produced by the MFB were maintained, updated and adapted to fit an annual bulletin edition. The participants also decided to include a number of tables recommended by the World Bank, as well as tables that were deemed useful for the country, such as debt by sector of activity and by initial and residual maturities.

Preceding the debt statistics workshop, a team from different services of the back-office carried out significant work on debt data reconciliation with its creditors. They also undertook validation of the debt database with the assistance of an UNCTAD consultant, which continued until the end of December 2023. This effort was necessary in order to increase the reliability of the debt data, which is crucial to ensure qualitative debt statistics and analysis. It is expected that the statistical bulletin will be finalized early February 2024 and published on the MFB’s website, thus increasing fiscal transparency of the Chadian Government.

UNCTAD is currently negotiating the possibility of extending the project with the European Union into 2024 to strengthen further the capacity in debt statistics and debt portfolio analysis, enabling the MFB to produce cost risk indicators and debt ratios, understand the calculation of bond prices and yield curves and thus complete the bulletin and its debt reports. It is equally foreseen to elaborate a procedures manual for the management of loans and bonds with the DMFAS (back office), that should help improve information flows between the different institutions and entities involved in debt management and ultimately contribute to the timely availability of debt data.

Debt Statistic workshop in Chad, December 2023