The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) through its Sub-regional Office for West Africa formally begins a three-day capacity-building workshop in Liberia for several institutions of the Liberian government.
A release issued by a member of the ECOWAS Economic Journalists Network, Jacob N.B. Parley, said the virtual training workshop, taking place in Sinkor, Monrovia, Liberia, is aimed at producing economic and National Transfer Accounts (NTA) profile on Liberia.
According to the release, the exercise is bringing together two employees, each, from key institutions of government, including the Ministries of Finance and Development Planning, Labour, Health, Agriculture, Justice, the Liberia Institute for Statistics and Geo- Information Services (LISGIS) and the ECOWAS Economic Journalists Network. The Network, established in Dakar, Senegal, in 2017, reports on economic and environment issues, among others.
The National Transfer Accounts (NTA) is an idea dedicated towards helping to strengthen capacities of government employees, specifically in areas that enable ECOWAS member countries, including Liberia, integrate issues relating to demographic dividends in developmental policies.
In a virtual remark made on behalf of the ECA Director for West Africa, Mrs. Ngone Diop noted that West Africa’s 2019 population of 391 million inhabitants, raises urgent need for investment in demographic transition.
Mrs. Diop strongly believes capturing the demographic dividends in West Africa plays an essential role in improving living conditions of the populations through sustainable development and structural transformation of the region’s economies.
“Liberia is now the only country in the region that does not have the NTA demographic profile and as such, the training is intended to build the capacity of Liberians that will help the government develop the NTAL profile on Liberia.” She added.
Mrs. Diop also stressed the need for employees from government entities to familiarize themselves with the handbook for measuring the generational economy, published in 2013 by the United Nations and cited the importance of the document in line with the vision of the West Africa Sub-regional Office to invest in approaches aligned with demographic economics.
“The ECA will do everything possible to institutionalize the NTA approach and support countries to institutionalize it.”
The ECA executive, at the same time mentioned that the program has a window of economic growth, if accompanied by appropriate government policies, including investment in health and education and further described demographic dividend as economic benefits that arise from changes in population age structure and from other demographic forces that enhance opportunities for economic development, among others.
Meanwhile, Assistant Finance Minister for Development Planning, Benedict Kolubah, hailed the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) for selecting Liberia as host for the three-day training.
Mr. Kulobah, deputizing for Liberia’s Finance and Development Planning Minister, Samuel D. Tweah, noted that the occasion marked the beginning of a new day for Liberia.
“This program is a roadmap for enhancing the national demographic of our country and setting the profile comes at a time Liberia is in its preparatory stages of conducting a national census.” He observed.
Mr. Kolubah assured the UNECA that participants from Liberia are prepared to be trained and to adequately take part in the process so that Liberia cannot be the only country in the West African Sub-region without a National Transfer Accounts (NTA).
The workshop, running from Tuesday, October 6 to Thursday, 8th, October, 2020, is being facilitated by experts from the UNECA, in collaboration with the Liberian Government, through the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP).