African leaders have been implored to adopt good economic policies in order to improve the continent’s infrastructure and reduce poverty. The call was made by participants of the just-ended week-long regional course on economic and financial analyses for analysts in the Sierra Leonean capital, Freetown. The one-week seminar was jointly organized by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACDF).
Thirty-two executive, senior and middle-level officials drawn from ministries of finance, central banks, print and electronic media institutions and networks from Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia and The Gambia participated in the seminar. In their communiqué, the participants highlighted how Africa’s poverty level is on the rise, a situation, they blamed on bad governance by African leaders.
They stressed the importance of increased awareness on regional integration by member countries of the sub-region and underlined sovereignty protection and corruption as some of the reasons for the slow pace of attaining regional economic integration.
The workshop was declared open on June 23, by the Governor of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone, Mr. Sheku Sambadeen Sesay, who was represented by Mr. I. K. Lamin, Director of the Financial Markets Department of the Bank of Sierra Leone. In his opening address, the Governor commended the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for collaborating with WAIFEM to build capacity of participants in the Sub- region.
While expressing his views on the importance of the course, he observed that in economic analysis the strengths and weaknesses of an economy are analyzed while financial analysis aims at assessing profitability, solvency, liquidity and stability of public and private entities.
He therefore noted that, economic and financial analysts must have adequate knowledge on issues like cost-benefit analysis, economic impact analysis, trade policy analysis, economic development and growth analysis as well as basic macroeconomics and interpretation of financial indicators.
Mr. Lamin highlighted some of the challenges in economic and financial analysis which include the lack of many knowledgeable professionals especially in the sub-region and the need for timely, accessible and quality data dissemination.
Finally, the Governor encouraged participants to take advantage of the workshop and learn more about domestic and international economic and financial issues in the interest of the sub-region.
In his welcoming remarks, the Director General of WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, who was also represented by Mr. Ousman Sowe, Director of Financial Sector Management Department, expressed his appreciation to the President, government and people of Sierra Leone for providing the opportunity to conduct the training workshop in Freetown.
He commended the management and staff of the Central Bank of Sierra Leone for their excellent logistic support to WAIFEM and also, to ACBF for joining them in building the capacity of financial analysts in the sub-region.
He used the occasion to enjoin participants to take maximum advantage of the opportunity afforded by the workshop and to derive maximum benefits from the vast and valuable wealth of knowledge and experience of the experts drawn from the academia, practitioners and WAIFEM faculty to facilitate the course.
The main objective of workshop was to equip participants with an excellent practical overview and insight into economic and financial markets. It was also intended to update the knowledge and upgrade the skills of financial analysts in economic and financial policies with a strong emphasis on economic and financial analysis and performance monitoring.
The seminar covered broad themes such as Review of Basic Macroeconomic Model; Design and Tools of Monetary Policy; Coordination of Monetary and Fiscal Policy; Interrelationships among the Macroeconomic Sectors; Regional Economic Integration: Rationale, Challenges & Prospects; Role of Financial Markets; Fiscal Policy Management; Role of Statistics in Economic Management and Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.