group of officials from national revenue bodies, central banks and trade
agencies of Anglophone West Africa are benefitting from a week-long course on
International Trade, Taxes and Policies being held here in Banjul.
The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) organised the regional seminar, whose objective was to build capacity for formulation and implementation of good and effective external trade policies.
It will also provide participants with an understanding of pertinent issues relating to international trade, taxes and negotiations.
Director General of WAIFEM Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, speaking at the opening ceremony, told participants the institute was established principally to build capacities for improved macro-economic and financial management in the constituent member countries.
The institute was established by the central banks of The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone in 1996, he added.
Prof. Ekpo mentioned that WAIFEM has extended its operations to the private sector by establishing the Business Development and Consultancy Unit (BD&CU) adding that the unit targets the private sector in the sub-region, some of it may also benefit the central banks and relevant public-sector institutions.
In line with technological advancements and new trends, WAIFEM also started e-learning programmes in Public Sector Debt Management in the French Language.
“The course in the French Language is intended to bridge the language gap with the Francophone countries while at the same time deepening the regional integration process,” he stated.
Essa A.K. Drammeh, second deputy governor, Central Bank of The Gambia said: “Countries have increasingly opened their economies to international trade through the multilateral trading system and increased regional cooperation as part of domestic reform programs and the benefits have been enormous to these countries and their citizens” he said: “Countries have increasingly opened their economies to international trade through the multilateral trading system and increased regional cooperation as part of domestic reform programmes and the benefits have been enormous to these countries and their citizens.”
The issue of trade and its impact on economic development in a globalised world has remained controversial, he said, especially within the context of developing countries whose major resources are primary commodities.
Hence the issue of trade, according to him, has long been hailed as a key engine of growth and development, and this was evident during the post-World War 11 period.