Policymakers from various African countries as well as representatives of research institutions met on Thursday 29 September in a day-long hybrid workshop organized by the Economic Commission for Africa on the theme “shocks and macroeconomic analysis.” The meeting provided opportunity for sharing best practices in the utilization of various macroeconomic modelling tools.
The main objectives of this year’s edition of the annual workshop were to share knowledge on the development and utilization of different macroeconomic models to inform policy formulation and implementation, as well as the associated opportunities and challenges. The workshop also reviewed and assessed the extent to which the ECA macroeconomic model has been utilized in different countries to identify opportunities and challenges.
In his opening remarks, Director of ECA’s Macroeconomics and Governance Division (MGD), Adam Elhiraika pointed out the workshop comes at a very timely and important moment wherein Africa has been confronted with multiple shocks like the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian-Ukraine crisis, as well as other political and social conflicts which have negatively impacted the continent’s macroeconomic performance and weakened the resilience of households.
Mr Elhairaika noted, “these are major challenges where the ECA model can be used to assess the impact of these crises in addition to its usual use to countries as a tool for policy analysis and to assess policy options for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063.”
Hopestone Chavula, an ECA Economic Affairs Officer, delivered a presentation on ECA’s macroeconomic model and its development process. He explained the model was developed after requests for support from Member States. The purpose of the model is for policy formulation and advice based on forecasts and scenario analyses.
Speaking about the advantages of the macroeconomic model Mr. Chavula said “the policy simulations and associated forecasts provide information to assist in achieving a country’s development plans and objectives. It can also be customised to capture different countries’ economic characteristics.”
Countries were also given the platform to provide feedback on the ECA model, how they utilized it, how it was customized and how beneficial it has been in exploring contemporary issues. Molefi Mokheti, from the Ministry of Finance of Lesotho, shared the country’s experience with the macro modelling training process. He explained how the ECA model could assist in modelling growth-driving sectors that will drive the country’s development agenda.
In concluding the session, Adam Elhiraika noted the session was a valuable learning experience providing input that would help the division to further develop ECA’s modelling.
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