Africa’s future will be shaped by the young minds of the ECA Young Economists Network (ECA-YEN) who will be nurtured to take charge of the economic direction in which the continent goes. This was the conclusion drawn by the eminent panelists who were at the virtual launch of the ECA-YEN on 7 December 2021. The High-Level Webinar was attended by more than 200 young students across the continent, many of whom are members of the network.
The High-Level webinar reflected on the implication of stability-oriented macroeconomic policies and practices for building resilient economies to shocks at national and sub-regional levels. The ECA-YEN’s mechanism to support macroeconomic stability, through nowcasting and forecasting at national, sub-regional levels, was presented.
Among the high-level speakers on the day were Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of ECA, Ibrahim Mayaki Executive Director of AUDA – NEPAD, Dr. Hala El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt, Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Dramane Coulibaly, Professor of Economics at the University of Lumiere Lyon 2 and Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of the African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP).
Ms Songwe declared that the ECA would from this point mark the second Tuesday of every December as African Macroeconomic Modeling Day and in welcoming the young economists in attendance explained that ‘in many African countries leaders are looking for the answers and many young economists have the answers” therefore the ECA-YEN platform offers the opportunity to work together to find out “how we look within to find the right resources, using our commodities, pension funds and innovation & technology to decide what is the right government and economic policy to put in place” for economic prosperity.
Highlighting the importance of the bottom-up process of policy design was H.E.M. Ibrahim Mayaki Executive Director of AUDA – NEPAD “we should look to our young economist for tools to help create spaces of co-production of policies… where governments and central banks are contested to solve problems…finding out how co-producing policies can be a solution.”
Dr. Hala El Said, Minister of Planning and Economic Development, Egypt, welcomed the creation of the Network for “seeking to create a peer learning and research platform to empower and engage a new generation of skilled young macroeconomic modelers to champion macroeconomic modeling.”
“Since the role of macroeconomic modeling in dealing with policy challenges cannot be overemphasized” according to H.E.M. Godwin Emefiele, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria he expressed his support for the launch of the ECA-YEN in “taking this great initiative to build a resourceful pool of economists in the region to ensure that it develops great minds to take macroeconomic modeling to a higher level.”
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