NewsEast & Horn AfricaIMF, policymakers discuss data importance for economic policies

Fri,24Nov2017

Posted on Thursday, 04 February 2016 16:13

IMF, policymakers discuss data importance for economic policies

By Dasmani Laary

Ghana's Finance minister Seth Terkper earlier delivered a keynote speech on enhancing data for macro policiesThe International Monetary Fund (IMF) and policymakers in Africa have ended a regional conference on enhanced data in Ghana's capital, Accra, highlighting the significance of accurate information in making better macroeconomic policy decisions.

Experts at the meeting examined critically suitable minimum standards and benchmarks for data quality and what could be done to remove obstacles challenging policymakers on the continent.

It is my hope that we will have an open conversation, a frank exchange of views

Participants committed themselves to promoting the dissemination of data for enriched evidence-based economic policy decision-making.

Their discussions focused on the importance of accurate economic data for analysis, special challenges of regional integration for macroeconomic statistics and benefits of data transparency.

The conference, one of the largest regional gatherings on relevance of accurate data for improved macroeconomic policies, also considered how the IMF can back African policymakers' efforts with technical support and training.

Ghana's Finance minister Seth Terkper earlier delivered a keynote speech on enhancing data for macro policies, telling participants to be open and honest in their submissions.

"It is my hope that we will have an open conversation, a frank exchange of views, and learn from each other on the challenges and success stories on how data was made more accurate and how those data have been useful in improving our policies," he said.

Africa's rich diversity, he noted, could help shape the direction to make data better, identify bottlenecks and improve ways of making those data available for best policy decisions.

"In Africa, as elsewhere, we need to jump ahead of crisis management when it comes to data, and seek to enhance the gathering, processing, dissemination and analysis of data to help us formulate and implement the best possible set of economic and financial policies," IMF deputy managing director, Min Zhu said.

Ghana, IMF and the United Kingdom's Department for International Development spearheaded the conference that brought together policymakers, academics, bankers, rating agencies, think tanks, and development partners.

Reflecting on the significance of the conference, Kenyan central bank governor, Patrick Njoroge said it "provided a unique opportunity for high-level decision makers to exchange ideas and experiences so that we can work together to strengthen the data used for policy making".



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