Ghana, six other Ecowas States receive US$379m from the World Bank

The World Bank Group (WBG) has allocated US$379 million to Ghana and six other West African countries to help them harmonise and strengthen their statistical systems.

The six other ECOWAS countries are Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Togo.

The facility was approved by the Board of the World Bank Group in International Development Association (IDA) on 27th March, 2020.

According to the WBG, the funds is to support the African
Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in their
efforts to deepen regional integration in Africa.

Harmonizing and improving statistics

On Harmonizing and strengthening Statistics in West Africa (HISWA), which is a new project, the WBG says it is aimed at improving the statistical systems of participating countries and regional and sub-regional bodies, in order to help them harmonize, produce, disseminate and enhance the use of core economic and social statistics.

Good data, according to the WBG, are critical to addressing
the myriad of socio-economic development challenges facing the West Africa

HISWA is a regional project that will stimulate demand for
data and increase the capacity of the National Statistics Offices in the
beneficiary countries.

Key activities among others, include, the harmonization of
methodologies by the ECOWAS Commission; improved production of core economic
and social statistics.

Other activities are demographic and poverty statistics,
national accounts and price statistics; the improvement of targeted
administrative statistics; capacity-building, data dissemination and
institutional reforms.

The project will also help to improve and modernize physical
and statistical infrastructure to help achieve its core objectives.

Reliable microdata

In addition to this, the HISWA will provide reliable
microdata, beyond the National Statistics Offices and the regional bodiesdata
platforms and statistics bulletins to a larger audience, including
universities, researchers, students and the general public.

Also, the project is relevant to the Strategy for
Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHaSA2), the continent-wide intervention
targeted at addressing the various constraints facing African statistical
systems and promoting its regional integration agenda.

It will also support the implementation of ECOWAS’s regional
strategy for 2019-2023 that aims to raise the living standards of its member
country populations.

Furthermore, the project will be aligned with the World Bank
Group’s Regional Integration and Cooperation Assistance Strategy for Sub-Saharan
Africa and will help strengthen the connection between regional policy
commitments and national planning

This will be done by generating data critical to national
and regional planning and monitoring.

IDA countries

The IDA is an international financial institution which
offers concessional loans and grants to the world’s poorest developing
countries and it is a member of the World Bank Group and is headquartered in
Washington, D.C. in the United States.

It was established in 1960 to complement the existing International Bank for Reconstruction and Development by lending to developing countries which sufferthe lowest gross national income, from troubled creditworthiness, or from the lowest per capita income.

The IDA countries are home to a quarter of the world’s population, having two-thirds of the world’s population languishing in extreme poverty.

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Source : African Media Agency (AMA)

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