(MENAFN- African Press Organization)
The proceedings of a seminar on recent economic situation and forecasts in the ECOWAS's English-speaking countries were launched Tuesday in Banjul, The Gambia, on the initiative of the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa of the United Nations Economic Commission for West Africa (SRO-WA/ECA). This meeting, which is held on from 11-14 November 2022 was organised in collaboration with the Government of The Gambia, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission and the Economic and Statistical Observatory of Sub-Saharan Africa (AFRISTAT).
The seminar is organized to take stock of the economic situation and discuss prospects about the multifaceted impact of crisis on the ECOWAS countries' economics.
The objective of this meeting is to share experiences and take stock of the recent economic situation and the macroeconomic estimate for the year 2022, forecasts for 2023 and projections for 2024 to 2025 in the ECOWAS English speaking countries (The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone).
It also seeks to contribute to the efforts made to inform the monitoring of the macroeconomic convergence in the ECOWAS countries and to orient national and sub-regional policy development and programmes.
This three-day meeting is held in plenary sessions, with presentations by countries and Institutions, followed by discussions and recommendations.
Alagie Fadera, Director of Planning at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs of The Gambia said that the seminar is important for countries to commit themselves to evidence base policies and planning to the availability of reliable and timely data which they are going to adequately formulate policies, plans and strategies to address the development challenges they're faced with.
Mr. Fadera added that, the continent is confronted by climate change resilient which is having a significant impact on various facets of their development and all these combine challenges are speeding into macroeconomic and other socio economic challenges.
The Chief of the Centre for Demographic Dynamics for Development of the SRO-WA/ECA, Bakary Dosso said that the West African region has already been shaken by structural challenges such as climate change, insecurity in the Sahel, political instability, and demographic trends, which constitute bottlenecks for economic growth and development.
“The ECA estimate indicates that the economic growth contracted by 0.6 percent in 2020 in West Africa. In 2021, growth resumed slowly at 4.3 percent, a performance well below the 7.6 percent required to absorb the negative impact of the preceding year. In 2022, the economic growth is forecasted at 4.2 percent amid inflation pressure in all countries of the community. Annual inflation in forecasted at 14.7 percent in 2022, the highest rate of the last decade.”
Bakary Dosso stressed out that if the current dynamic continues, West African countries will not achieve key sustainable development goals targets on economic growth of 7.0 percent, elimination of extreme poverty in all its forms, health and education.
The seminar is a pear learning platform in the areas of economic monitoring, short-term economic forecasting, and monitoring.
This meeting brought together statisticians, macroeconomists, and forecasters from ministries of finance and economic affairs, national statistical offices, and central banks to review economic situation of the region faced by internal and global challenges.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).