By Edoamaowo Udeme
The ECOWAS Common Database (ECOBASE) is to be launched for operationalization and implementation by Member States at a four-day meeting which opens in Bamako, Mali on Friday 30th May 2014.
The database already endorsed by regional Ministers in charge of Statistics and adopted by the Council of Ministers last December, is in line with the ECOWAS Commission’s quest to harmonize statistical information required for economic decision-making, policy formulation and regional integration.
The Bamako meeting which brings together representatives of the 15 ECOWAS Member States’ Central Banks, Ministries of Finance and National Offices of Statistics in charge of data management is preceded by a four-day workshop of representatives of regional institutions (the West African Monetary Agency (WAMA), West African Monetary Institute (WAMI), ECOWAS and UEMOA Commissions), as well as resources persons.
The objectives include acquainting national experts with the use of ECOBASE in Microsoft ACCESS format and the methodology for data collection and management.
The meeting will also validate the user guide and propose a time-table for the installation of the database and capacity building in Member States.
The ECOWAS Director of Research and Statistics, Mr. Mahamadou Yahaya, whose Directorate organized the workshop, said the operationalization and implementation of the common economic, financial, monetary and social database (ECOBASE), will facilitate the timely update of regional multilateral surveillance database and reduce the difficulties often encountered by Member States in reporting statistics to regional institutions.
This will in turn facilitate monitoring of macroeconomic convergence and contribute to development and regional integration.