The Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia (CBL), Mr. Milton A Weeks, says the shortage of knowledgeable professionals in economic and financial analysis, especially in the sub-region, is a challenge that must be addressed.
Governor Weeks observed that individuals often assume the ability and responsibility of analyzing and commenting on government economic and financial policies, without understanding the basic economic theoretical underpinnings of the polices.
Others he said go on to analyze without digging into the facts available to government functionaries, which inform the adoption of such policies and planning for such projects and programs. “This sometimes results either in under-reporting or over-reporting of government policies and programs,” he observed.
The Governor made the remarks Monday, October 17, 2017, when he delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the regional workshop on Economic & Financial Analysis, being held under the auspices of the West African Institute for Financial & Economic Management (WAIFEM).
The CBL Governor reiterated the Bank’s promise to provide knowledge enhancement programs to help the country’s economic journalists as well as Legislative support staff in enhancing capacity in economic and financial analysis.
Governor Weeks, who also serves as the current chairman of the Board of Governors of WAIFEM, stressed the need for timely, accessible and quality data dissemination for economic and financial analyses and policy implementation. He noted that these principles are needed in several key areas, such as the gross domestic product, inflation rates, unemployment rates, external sector and the financial sector.
The lessons from the recent global financial and economic crises, Mr. Weeks recalled, lends support to the fact that the provision of data by borrowing countries, should meet standards for dissemination of data.
“National statistical agencies should enhance provision of comprehensive economic and financial data, and aggregated risk exposure information of financial institutions should be made public,” noting that such reliable data would form the bedrock for economic and financial analyses. Also speaking during the occasion, the Director General of WAIFEM, Professor Akpan H. Ekpo, commended the Liberian Government and the Central Bank of Liberia for hosting the workshop, and expressed hope that participants will utilize the knowledge acquired to enhance their skills in economic and financial analysis.
The week-long workshop which is being spearheaded by senior financial and banking executives of central banks from member countries of WAIFEM, is being attended by journalists and economic and financial analysts from Ghana, the Gambia, Nigeria, Sierra-Leone and Liberia.
The West African Institute for Financial & Economic Management (WAIFEM) was established 20 years ago by central banks of five West African Anglophone countries, to among other objectives, build capacity required for macroeconomic policy formulation, implementation, analysis and management. WAIFEM is now coordinated through a governing board of the six central banks that constitute the West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ) under the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The member countries are Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.