The course organized by the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) will expose participants to contemporary issues in trade policy analysis and provide a theoretically consistent and quantitative way to evaluate different economic policies.
In his keynote statement at the opening ceremony Monday, Central Bank of Liberia (CBL) Governor Milton A. Weeks expressed gratitude to the WAIFEM Director and staff for bringing such important training to Liberia.
He said the issue of trade and its impact on economic development in the globalized world has remained controversial, especially within the context of developing countries, whose major resources are primary commodities.
He noted that for the West African sub-region, there has been a renewed effort to scale up the contribution to the economy of the sub-region, given the potential benefits of trade and ensuring political, social and economic integration.
“For these trade potentials to be achieved, serious attention has been given to the challenges ranging from complex trade taxes, barriers to trade, inefficient transportation and communication systems, hindrances at the borders of countries in the sub-region, currency and legal differences, as well as language problems,” Governor Weeks said.
These challenges, according to the Liberia Central Bank Governor, must be overcome, if growth and international relations are to be fostered in the region.
“It is my expectation that these issues will run through your decisions during this program," he noted, adding that "the CBL remains a strong supporter of WAIFEM and its capacity efforts.”
In his welcome address, the Director of Macroeconomic Management of WAIFEM, Chris Kedzie, who served as proxy for Prof. H. Ekpo, acknowledged the efforts of Central Bank of Liberia Governor Weeks, who is also serving as Chairman of the Board of Governors of WAIFEM, and his management team for the excellent logistical support provided for the smooth organization of the course.
“We are really grateful for the continuous support of the CBL to the WAIFEM course.
"Since its inception and as at the end of June 2017, we successfully executed 600 course workshops, and these have benefitted 16, 294 participants from the sub-region and beyond,” said Kedzie.
He said the course was designed to cover a number of key topics such as international trade theory, international trade policy, promoting a regional common market and investment climate in international trade; fostering effective customs union and its challenges.
The course will also cover ECOWAS economic partnership agreements, EU, EPA implications for economic and social development, international trade negotiations, international relations, regional integration and trade in WAMZ; modeling international trade; an overview of multilateral trading system; World Trade Organization (WTO), and regional trade agreement, among others.
Kedze said WAIFEM collaborates with a number of reputable institutions to ensure high international standards in its programs.
They include the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank, Commonwealth Secretariat, Debt Relief International, United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR); African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).