By Maimuna Sey-Jawo
The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (Waifem) yesterday opened a regional course on techniques of economic analysis, monetary policy and financial management.
The five-day forum is underway at a local hotel in Senegambia.
It is bringing together participants from five different countries including The Gambia, Ghana, Nigeria, Liberia and Sierra Leone, respectively. The apex bank of The Gambia is hosting the forum.
Its objective is to equip participants with economic tools in dealing with notable challenges in macroeconomic management in the Sub-Region.
In his opening statement, the director general of Waifem, Dr Baba Musa, told delegates that the course will cover a number of key topics such as basic macroeconomic framework for policy analysis, source of economic growth, open economy, and others.
The deputy governor of the Central Bank, Essa AK Drammeh, said the economic activity of the country continueS to pick up with improved macroeconomic fundamentals – stable exchange rate and dampening inflationary pressures – following the slowdown in 2016.
“The current supportive political environment, ongoing democratic transition and gains in political and economic inclusion have been confidence-enhancing, helping to engender significant international goodwill. As a result, development partners pledged over US$1.5 billion at the May 2018 Brussels conference held in support of The Gambia’s 2018-21 National Development Plan (NDP).
Drammeh said the country’s economy was estimated to grow by 5.4 percent in 2018 compared to 4.7 in 2017.
“The monetary policy stance of the Central Bank of The Gambia had been relatively accommodative in 2018 when compared to 2017. The monetary policy rate (MPR) maintained at 13.5 percent in December 2018, since its reduction in May, 2018, from the 15.0 percent recorded at end-June 2017.
He thanked Waifem for choosing The Gambia to host “this important” forum.
Waifem is a collaborative sub-regional capacity building organisation established in July 1996 by the central banks of five Anglophone West African countries. The mission of the institute is to develop, on a sustainable regional basis, human and institutional expertise in the field of macroeconomic, fiscal, debt and financial management for central banks, ministries of finance and economic planning, and other public sector institutions with macroeconomic management responsibilities.