Mr Bakary Dosso, Acting Director, Economic Commission for Africa Sub-Regional Office for West Africa (ECA SRO-WA) has reiterated ECA’s commitment to work in close collaboration with regional agencies to ensure the production, dissemination and use of quality data and comparable statistics in Africa.
He said ECA has therefore becomes the one-spot for the provision of up-to-date, harmonised, disaggregated statistics with a gender dimension to facilitate prime evidence-based to inform policy and decision-making.
Mr Dosso made these dispositions at ECA SRO-WA organised workshop on economic monitoring, short-term economic forecasting and modeling 2019-2020 for English-speaking Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) including Ghana, The Gambia, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Cabo Verde.
The four-day workshop is under the auspices of the Economic and Statistical Observatory for Sub-Saharan Africa (AFRISTAT) has a main objective to share experiences on the recent economic developments and short-term macroeconomic forecasting methods used in English-speaking member states.
It also seeks to contribute to the efforts made to have a short and medium term overview of the macroeconomic indicators of the region.
He said this initiative to produce analysis of quality economic statistics to inform policy would foster economic growth, people’s well-being, inclusive societies and sustainable use of the environment as set out by the Sustainable Development agenda.
He said ECA has therefore established its statistics centre, the African Centre for Statistics (ACS) as a mandate to support in improving and production of quality data.
Mr Dosso said ECA SRO-WA produces sub-regional economic and country profiles for each member state, which is aimed at creating a platform for policy dialogue on country specific macroeconomic and social development challenges and opportunities to achieve structural transformation.
“One of the specific contributions of this knowledge product is its methodology based primarily on the compilation of data from credible national sources to provide country profiles to aid evaluation of data collected.”
He said this meeting was an opportunity to exchange information on countries analytical studies of recent economic development and forecasts, to review the analytical tools and frameworks used by individuals countries and to assess economic development of the sub-region.
He hoped that the workshop would be a regular consultation process that would provide quality economic statistics to inform the regional integration agenda and mechanism in West Africa.
Dr Koffi Simeon, Head of Research and Development, Economic Community for West African States Commission (ECOWAS Commission), said this opportunity would offer dialogue into the analytical tools being used by member states and to have an up-to-date data on macroeconomic forecasts in relation to growth, inflation, fiscal balances and external finances.
He said action was already initiated for all departments in forecasts in member states to collect statistical data for instance to aid in ECOWAS single currency and put a monitoring device in place to conduct analysis on convergence of states performance.
Dr Iddrisu Alhassan, Director, Ministry of Finance, called for regular organisation of such workshops to dialogue and streamline all challenges that hinder integration of the sub-region.
The workshop is being attended by statisticians from national offices, economic planning officers, chief economists and strategists and researchers.
Expected outcomes of the workshop includes strengthening collaboration with AFRISTAT, ECOWAS, West African Economic Monetary Union (UEMOA), West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), West African Monetary Agency (WAMA) and African Regional Technical Assistance Centre in West Africa (AFRITAC Ouest) in terms of support to countries in the area of statistical information and development.