…CBL Governor Discloses
By Jimmey C. Fahngon
A five-day economic and financial analysis workshop for media practitioners and staff of the Legislative Budget Office has begun in Monrovia with the Executive Governor of the Central Bank of Liberia disclosing that the country’s economy remains challenged.
Governor Milton A. Weeks said over the last three years, the Liberian economy has been grossly affected by shocks such as decline in primary commodities price (iron ore and rubber), depreciation in the Liberian Dollar, drawdown of the United Nations Mission in Liberia, the Ebola pandemic, high importation, and infrastructure constraints.
He told the gathering Monday that in order for the economy to be turned around, a more concerted effort with greater emphasis on value addition in domestic production, especially in the agriculture and manufacturing sectors cannot be over emphasized.
Governor Weeks underscored the need for appropriate macroeconomic management tools to promote diversification for more inclusive growth and development.
Against this backdrop, he said the Central Bank of Liberia, through enhanced policy coordination and harmonization, with the Ministry of Finance & Development Planning, has been working along with other stakeholders to institute key economic policies to recuperate the economy from the various shocks.
“In addition, the CBL has continued its efforts to support the economic growth and development of the economy, including working to develop the payment system, intervening in the real sector through credit easing, especially for the rubber and housing sectors, and rolling over some microfinance facilities, while introducing various financial services vehicles such as agency banking and mobile money to expedite financial transaction, amongst others,” he added.
He assured that the Central Bank of Liberia will continue to pursue its ultimate goal of price stability with a view to ensuring macroeconomic stability characterized by low inflation and a stable exchange rate.
The CBL boss also said there is also a commitment to ensure increased access to financial services in all parts of the country.
He further said additional steps will be taken with relevant parties to strengthen the legal environment aimed at addressing some of the existing constraints that threaten the safety, soundness and integrity of the financial system.
“We will continue to work cordially with all other government entities to champion the national agenda of the Government of Liberia,” Weeks stressed.
Commenting on the workshop, Governor Weeks said in economic analysis, the strengths and weaknesses of an economy are analysed, hence it is important to understand the exact status and conditions of an economy.
He said financial analysis aims at assessing profitability, solvency, liquidity and stability of public and private entities.
For his part, Prof. Akpan H. Ekpo, Prof. Douglas Omotor of West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) said the workshop is intended to boost the financial and economic literacy of mid to upper level media practitioners in the banking and finance sector as well as staff of the Legislative Budget Office.
WAIFEM, based in Lagos, Nigeria, he said was established by five West African central banks including, the Central Banks of Liberia, Nigeria, Ghana, the Gambia and Sierra Leone, to help enhance the capacity building process of professionals from member countries.
The 5-day workshop will offer a rare opportunity for focused capacity building for staff involved in reporting and analyzing developments in the economy and the financial sector in particular.
Over 20 Liberian media practitioners and staff from the Legislative Budget Office are attending the workshop.