The FINANCIAL — The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) have launched a new project to improve macroeconomic statistics in 44 countries in Africa and the Middle East. DFID will provide £6.2 million (about US$9.3 million) over the next five years to support the project.
The Enhanced Data Dissemination Initiative 2 (EDDI2) is the second phase of a DFID-funded statistics project for Africa that has been implemented by the IMF during 2010-15. It achieved many concrete results, helping numerous countries to produce for the first time quarterly national accounts, international investment position statistics and financial soundness indicators; to rebase their national accounts; to expand coverage in monetary statistics; to increase frequency and accuracy in government finance statistics; to increase data dissemination by publishing national summary data pages and advance release calendars; and to add more countries to the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS) and the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS), according to IMF.
Building on these successes, starting in May 2015 EDDI2 will provide technical assistance and training to national statistical systems in 44 African and Middle Eastern countries on a broad range of macroeconomic statistics covering national accounts and prices, monetary and financial statistics, government finance statistics, external sector statistics and data dissemination. The project will have several innovative features, including a new focus on improving source data, advocating the use of the Open Data Platform for more efficient data dissemination, and expanding the country coverage to include more fragile states in Africa and the Middle East.
Under the new project, IMF statistics experts will undertake technical missions to individual countries and lead regional workshops and seminars, working with regional organizations and agencies to promote an exchange of experiences and lessons learned within the regions. Close coordination with the IMF Regional Technical Assistance Centers in Africa and the Middle East (AFRITACs and METAC) is built into the design of the project.
“DFID has been a very reliable partner to the IMF in statistical capacity building and shares our vision on improving macroeconomic statistics,” said Louis Marc Ducharme, Director of the IMF Statistics Department. “I am very pleased with this partnership and look forward to measurable results in our targeted countries. The expected outcome of the project is that improved quality and timeliness of macroeconomic statistics will support more effective economic policies and poverty reduction strategies in Africa and the Middle East.”