Ghana is currently hosting ECOWAS regional statistical coordination meeting on implementation of The World Bank Project on “Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa” (HISWA) from 3rd to 5th MAY 2021 in Accra.
The Regional Statistical Programme is an articulated effort to meet the national, regional and international demand for statistical data to monitor development, growth and integration agenda of member states.
In order to sustain effective functioning of the regional and national statistical systems, particularly through adequate human, material and financial resources, the ECOWAS COMMISSION has been involved in resource mobilization from various development partners for the implementation of Regional Statistical Programme at the National and Regional levels for statistical development in West Africa.
The World Bank, ECOWAS Commission and the Member States have been working on the development of this project which is Harmonizing and Improving Statistics in West Africa (HISWA) since 2018.
A statement by the Commissioner, Macroeconomic Policy and Economic Research of the ECOWAS Commission, DR. Kofi Konadu Apraku noted that “the ECOWAS Commission and the African Union have together received a grant of $379 Million from the World Bank to implement this Project”.
Under this grant, the World Bank is providing a total of $379 Million for the ECOWAS region the beneficiaries are: ECOWAS Commission $7.5 Million, Africa Union $2.5 Million, The Other Beneficiaries are: Ghana – 150 Million, Cote D’Ivoire – 54 Million, Burkina Faso – 60 Million, Togo – 30 Million, Sierra Leone – 30 Million and Liberia – 15 Million.
According to DR. Kofi Konadu Apraku the project will support the National Statistical Systems (NSS) and the ECOWAS Regional Statistical System (RSS) in the process of producing up-to-date, reliable and harmonized statistics covering mainly the social and economic sector.
In his remarks, the Government Statistician, Ghana Statistical Service, Professor Samuel Kobina Annim said “with our commitment and support I have no doubt that the HISWA Project is going to transform our National Statistical Systems in the respective countries”.
He commended ECOWAS on the development and sharing of the comprehensive instrument on “Monitoring and evaluation of the Regional Statistical System (RSS) and state of statistics in the ECOWAS region”.
The main objective of this meeting is to discuss the HISWA Project implementation arrangements, solicit the beneficiary’s countries’ commitment for the effective implementation of the project and also to validate the following two documents: Regional Framework and User Guide for compilation of National Accounts for the Region and Regional Framework and User Guide for compilation of Government Financial Statistics (GFS).
The meeting will also provide a platform to strengthen regional cooperation and to encourage innovative partnership between several actors aimed at accelerating the statistical development in West Africa. This meeting involving the Director Generals of the National Statistics Offices (NSOs) provides a unique opportunity to highlight the leadership needed to promote a statistical harmonization programme, not only in the ECOWAS region but also Africa at large.
Story filed by Edzorna Francis Mensah