A multilateral surveillance mission from the West Africa Monetary Institute (WAMI) and the West Africa Monetary Agency (WAMA), an autonomous and specialized body of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), has paid a courtesy call on the newly appointed Statistician General & CEO of Stats SL, Andrew Bob Johnny, at the Stats SL Headquarters at Towerhill in Freetown .
Giving a synopsis of their visit, the head of mission who doubles as Director of WAMA, Dr. Mawuli Gaddah , congratulated the newly appointed Statistician General & CEO on his recent appointment and wished him success.
He furthered that they are also in-country in line with the ECOWAS monitoring cooperation program which is a 3 years routine program that assesses and helps achieve key economic indicators against some of the harmonized criteria that was agreed by Heads of States to collect data especially for economic purposes.
Dr Gaddah also stressed that they wanted to seek the views of Stats SL on major policy issues relating to statistical harmonization which they think they should bring to the attention of the government. He concluded that their visit to Sierra Leone will officially end next week with a report to be submitted to key stakeholders of the government; highlighting some of the major policy issues which the government of Sierra Leone should address.
Making a brief statement, Mohamed Jalloh, the PO and Team lead from ECOWAS said, a sitting of Council of Ministers at ECOWAS had agreed that, starting from 2023 onwards, ECOWAS should be able to make forecast on the region just like the IMF and the World Bank are doing using harmonized data to forecast key economic indicators rather than using data from other regions to predict internal and external shocks.
He concluded that they are strongly relying on statistical data generated from statistical bureaus from member states which will be the focal point in predicting external shocks to reduce the vulnerability of member states; so they strongly believe that with the collaboration of statistical offices in the region, they will have the kind of data they seek.
Responding, the Statistician General & CEO of Stats SL, Andrew Bob Johnny, expressed delight at the courtesy call paid to his institution. He applauded the strides made by the mission in trying to harmonize statistical data within the region.
Mr Johnny reassured the WAMA/WAMI/ ECOWAS missions that Stats SL remains committed to generating credible data that will help in determining key policies and informed decisions from the government as they have done during the past years. He averred that Stats SL has made tremendous progress in ensuring that the status of the strategic objectives of price and labour statistics are improved.
Presenting on behalf of his division, Director of National Accounts and Economic Statistics, Mwaluma Andrew Bryma Gegbe, said that the CPI has been rebased to a more recent year, which is 2021.
He also said the CPI data collection coverage has been expanded to the new region of North West.
He re-echoed that there is now a harmonized consumer price index (CPI) basket which has been migrated from 12 COICOP functions to 13.
He concluded that the CPI coverage has expanded to rural markets nationwide and the CPI data collection transfer and compilation has been digitized.