At the 2023 African Econometric Society (AFES) meeting experts emphasized international collaboration as critical in confronting challenges faced by Africa concerning accessing dependable economic data. Policymakers and economists gathered to highlight the importance of precise economic statistics in driving development planning on the continent.
They also pointed out econometrics as a valuable tool for policymaking. The AFES meeting aimed at exploring ways of enhancing Africas’ economic resilience through econometric approaches and was organized in partnership with the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC).
Prof. Njuguna Ndung’u – National Treasury and Economic Planning Cabinet Secretary – expressed his frustration during his keynote address with the lack of reliable and prompt data which obstructs effective economic planning and management pointing out that policymakers require accurate information from economists, statisticians, and econometricians. He noted that many African countries face delays in accessing vital economic statistics necessary for making informed decisions.
The AERC is committed to strengthening Africas’ economic resilience by focusing on research excellence and policy impact while transitioning to a global level that emphasizes the role of econometrics.
Prof Théophile Azomahou – Executive Director of AERC – reiterated this commitment during the meeting.
Prof Rosa Matzkin – President of The Econometrics Society – recognized Africas’ contribution to economic research while highlighting the need for well designed proposals based on reliable evidence; this will help shape national policies across various sectors. During a plenary session commemorating Adam Smiths 300th anniversary – pioneer of modern economics – participants had an opportunity for reflection about his insights’ relevance regarding combating present-day challenges.
The esteemed scholars Ernest Aryeetey, Prof. Daron Acemoglu, Prof. Esther Duflo, Prof.
Kevin Chika Urama, Prof. Nathan Nunn, Prof.
James Robinson and Prof. Leonard Wantchekon have all highlighted the critical role of research in maximizing Africa’s potential while addressing underlying structural challenges.
Their collective wisdom suggests that targeted investments in enhancing research capabilities alongside well-planned policies can unleash the continent’s abundance of natural resources and skilled workforce to create an exceptional future.
Echoing these sentiments is Ole Thonke –The Ambassador of Denmark to Kenya- whose belief mirrors that of noteworthy scholars about researching Africa’s socioeconomic evolution capabilities as a basis for achieving sustainable economic growth.