WAIFEM, IMF convene forum on balance of payments statistics

Tuesday, July 03, 2018

The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently commenced its joint regional course on balance of payments statistics. The event would also witness a regional course on International Investment Position Statistics and Public Sector Debt statistics (PSDS) slated from 2nd July to 11th July at a hotel in Kololi.

At the forum, Dr. Secku S. Jabbi, deputising the governor of Central Bank of The Gambia, acknowledged that external statistics which consists of the balance of payments and other statistics such as the Public Sector dept, are among the primary statistics on which policymakers and markets rely as a basis for their decisions in globalised economies.

“The compilation of external statistics is becoming more complicated due to recent changes in the nature of such transactions; for instance there has been changes in the nature of institutional units” he stressed.

He disclosed that another challenge is the need for timely, accessible and quality data dissemination for economic analysis and policy implementation, affirming that more timely and reliable data is needed in several key areas such as the external sector.

For his part, Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, director general, WAIFEM revealed that WAIFEM was established in July 1996 by the Central Banks of The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

“It is principally to develop on a sustainable basis, competencies in the fields of macroeconomic, debt and financial sector management among the staff of central banks, Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, and other public-sector institutions. The institution has the mandate to conduct research and consultancy in the area of macroeconomic policy management and promotion of best practices” he said.

He revealed that from its inception in 1997 to May 2018, the institution has successfully executed 661 courses, and these have benefited more than 17,840 participants from the sub-region and beyond.

“WAIFEM has stated e-learning programmes in public sector debt management, banking supervision and the French Language which is intended to bridge the language gap with the francophone countries” he added.

Mr. Antonio Galicia Escotto and Mr. Noriaki Kinoshita, representatives of the IMF expressed delight to be associated with the regional courses, saying the training of macroeconomic statisticians is a key element of their work in ensuring member states of the IMF have high quality data, required to build effective policies and institutions, an initiative they have been supporting over the last quarter of a century.

This, they said, would better prepare members ahead of the spring meetings of IMF and the World Bank wherein a communiqué issued revealed that debt transparency as one of the priority issues to be tackled, particularly in low middle income countries.

Author: Fatou B. Cham