Business News of 2014-07-08

‘Acquire knowledge to make accurate economic forecasts’

The Governor of the Bank of Sierra Leone, Mr Sheku Sesay, has advised economic and financial analysts in the West African sub-region to equip themselves with the relevant knowledge and skills in order to make accurate forecasts of economic trends.
The skill and professional knowledge, according to him, will help shape government’s economic policies in the sub-region and enhance the quality of debate.
Mr Sesay was speaking at the opening of a nine-day regional economic and financial analysis workshop, which was organised by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) and supported by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) in Freetown, Sierra Leone.
“Financial analysis aims at assessing profitability, solvency, liquidity and stability of public and private entities. The process often compares financial ratios in terms of past performance, future performance, as well as comparative performance,” he said.
A major challenge in economic and financial analysis, especially in the sub-region is the dearth of skilled professionals.
“The tendency is that all have assumed the ability and responsibility of analysing and commenting on government economic and financial policies. Most of the time, some of these analysts undertake their analysis without understanding the basic economic theoretical underpinnings of the policies. Others go on to analyse without digging deep into the facts available to government functionaries”.
Participants at the workshop, who were mostly media practitioners and economic analysts, were drawn from Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, The Gambia and Liberia.
The objective of the workshop was to equip participants with practical overview and insight into economic and financial markets.
It was also intended to update the knowledge and skills of financial analysts in financial policies with strong emphasis on economic performance monitoring.
According to the Governor of the Sierra Leonean central bank, financial analysis involves assessment of the viability, stability and profitability of economies within the sub-region.
It concerns the evaluation of businesses, budgets and other finance-related entities to determine their suitability for investments. In economic analysis, the strength and weaknesses of an economy are examined. As such, it is imperative to understand the exact status and conditions of an economy.
“Macro-economic issues, for instance, are important aspects of the economic analysis process as it gives insight into the fundamentals of an economy. Macro dimension, economic growth, stability, unemployment and external balance constitute some of the leading issues in economic growth and development”, he said.
The Director General of WAIFEM, Professor Akpan Ekpo, said the institute had established a collaborative arrangement with world class training organisations and capacity building institutions to ensure best practices in the delivery of its programmes.