Central bank officials from English-speaking African countries took part in an advanced course on key elements of the Forecasting and Policy Analysis System (FPAS) as it is used at leading central banks around the world. This course is part of the IMF’s efforts to assist sub-Saharan African (SSA) countries to modernize monetary policy. The event was jointly organized by the ATI and the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development (ICD). The course was facilitated by a team of IMF and ATI experts.
The course started with a review of modern monetary policy making, emphasizing its forward-looking character. Participants learned about new forecasting techniques and applied them to country studies, including in the context of a macroeconomic model. The participants also presented their macroeconomic forecasts and policy recommendation to a mock monetary policy committee.
During the final session of the seminar, Mr. Rundheersing Bheenick, Governor of the Bank of Mauritius, spoke about Mauritius’s experience with monetary policymaking since the establishment of the Monetary Policy Committee in April 2007. Commenting on modeling, Governor Bheenick stated that “models provide estimates of what is not observable and guide policymakers in their discussions, … but modeling needs to be more rigorous.” In this context, he emphasized the importance of developing the home-grown capacity in inflation modeling and analysis and in tailoring models to the specificities of countries.
At the conclusion of the seminar, Mr. Bulir (ICD, Course Director) indicated that the course strengthened the capacity of the participants (who are also recipients of IMF’s technical assistance) in the area of quantitative monetary analysis. Mr. Kramarenko (ATI Director) added that the IMF and its regional technical assistance centers will continue to provide extensive follow-up technical assistance and training on modeling and forecasting, which is an essential element of the on-going modernization of monetary policy frameworks in SSA. To promote peer-to-peer learning and provide continued distance support, the ATI and ICD have launched an online FPAS Community of Practice for the current course participants and their colleagues.
Thirty-one central bank officials attended from 14 sub-Saharan countries: Angola, Botswana, The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.