The West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), has trained over thirty Economic and Financial Analysts from across the sub-region. The training which exposed macroeconomic Models to participants was held in Freetown, Sierra Leone from June 23, to July 1, 2014 and brought together Journalists, Employees of Finance Ministries and staffers of Central Banks from Nigeria, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Gambia.
The WAIFEM training which was organized jointly with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) also highlighted the Interrelationships among the Macroeconomic Sectors, Review of Macroeconomics; Conceptions and Models, the Coordination of Monetary and Fiscal Policy and the Role of Statistics in Economic Management relative to its practical applications.
Lecturers were from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria; the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), the Central Bank of Nigeria also featured issues of Regional Economic Integration; Its regional, challenges and prospects, Hands on Analysis and Reporting of Budget Speech, Financial Environment: Markets and Institutions, Promoting Financial Stability, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes as well as Fiscal Policy Management.
Delivering the Keynote Address during the opening of the Regional Workshop, the Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Mr. Sheku S. Sesay, who was represented by Mr. I. K. Lamin, Director of the Financial Markets Department of the Bank of Sierra Leone highlighted the importance of the course on economic and financial analysis.
The Bank of Sierra Leone Governor said economic analysis is a systematic approach to the determination of the optimum use of scarce resources, involving comparison of two or more alternatives in achieving a specific objective under the given assumptions and constraints.
Governor Sesay also noted that it takes into consideration the opportunity costs of resources employed and attempts to measure in monetary terms the private and social costs and benefits of a project to the community or economy.
“On the other hand, financial analysis refers to an assessment of the viability, stability and profitability of a business, sub-business or project. It concerns the evaluation of businesses, projects, budgets and other finance-related entities to determine their suitability for investment,” the Governor said.
Governor Sesay said in economic analysis the strengths and weaknesses of an economy are analyzed, hence it is important in order to understand the exact status and conditions of an economy.
For instance macroeconomic issues are important aspects of the economic analysis process as it gives insight into the fundamentals of an economy.
At the macro dimension level, Governor Sesay said economic growth, economic stability, unemployment and external balance constitute some of the leading issues and it tries to reveal the reasons behind a particular economic phenomenon like inflation. “Economic analysis can also be undertaken at the microeconomic level,” he added.
Governor Sesay further stressed that financial analysis aims at assessing profitability, solvency, liquidity and stability of public and private entities and the process often compares financial ratios in terms of past performance, future performance as well as comparative performance.
The Director General of the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM), Professor Akpan H. Ekpo, in his welcome remarks said the main objective of the regional training was to equip participants with an excellent practical overview and insight into economic and financial markets.
Professor Ekpo also said it was intended to update the knowledge and upgrade the skills of financial analysts in economic and financial policies with a strong emphasis on economic and financial analysis and performance.
Lecturers at the seminar included Festus O. Egwaikhide from the Department of Economics; University of Ibadan Nigeria; WAIFEM’s Gabriel Y. Asante, T. O. Okumrounmu, Dr. Ngozi E. Egbuna from the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dr. Okon J. Umoh and Dr. Abu Bakarr Tarawalie form the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI) and Dr. Johnson F. Asiama.
Participants from Liberia included Samantha Carter of the Liberian Broadcasting System, Daily Observers’ Business Reporter, George Kennedy; INQUIRER’s Editor, Timothy T. Seaklon, Prince Collins from the Voice of Firestone, Kelvin Demey of FABRIC Radio and Osmond Elton Grigsby; Research Analyst Central Bank of Liberia.