By Udeme Clement
As the economic crisis facing Nigeria and other West African countries deepens, financial experts and policy makers within the sub-region have been trained to build solid macroeconomic fundamentals to drive the economies for optimum productivity.
The Director General, West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Prof. Akpan Ekpo, said this while giving his keynote address, at the opening ceremony of the regional course on, ‘Fundamentals of Macroeconomic Analysis’ organised by WAIFEM for experts from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Bank of Ghana, National Revenue Authority, Sierra Leone, National Planning Commission (NPC) Nigeria, West African Monetary Zone (WAMZ), Ghana statistical service, Gambia, Liberia among other institutions within the sub-region.
According to him, “The recent global economic and financial challenges raise serious concern about the need to develop adequate manpower-base among institutions charged with responsibility of managing the economy. For instance, the recent dwindling crude oil price has adversely affected countries with weak macroeconomic fundamentals. Given the interconnectivity of the global economy, a sound knowledge in macroeconomic fundamentals will adequately equip policymakers with appropriate tools to understand the workings of the economy, and prepare them to appropriately intervene in any uncertain economic environment, thus providing the requisite theoretical and practical background.”
He went on, “The course becomes imperative following the economic challenges facing countries within the region, and the course was practically designed to broaden and adequately deepen the knowledge as well as analytical skills of policymakers involved in macroeconomic management in these countries. In that capacity, the course was designed to cover a number of key macroeconomic topics such as, introduction to macroeconomics, system of national accounts, review of the IS-LM, AS-AD framework, Mundell-Flemming model, new macroeconomic models, fiscal accounts and analysis, economic policy coordination, financial markets and liquidity management. Other important areas of coverage include financial markets and liquidity management, openness in goods and financial markets, introduction to financial programming, Excel, Eviews and Stata, Hands-on exercises on Excel, Eviews and Stata, among other tools needed to build productive economies. The course was also drawn to deepen professional networking relationships with other fellow participants, to further the course of integration in the sub-region.”