African Central Bank officials get tips from IMF on Monetary Policy Analysis
Bank of Mauritius Governor, Rundheersing Bheenick, emphasized the importance of developing home-grown capacity in inflation modeling and analysis and in tailoring models to specific countries. (Image: International University of Monaco)
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) led an advanced course on the latest techniques in Monetary Policy Analysis for central bank officials from English-speaking African countries including Mauritius.
Organized by the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) and the Africa Training Institute (ATI), the course addressed key elements of the Forecasting and Policy Analysis System (FPAS) as used at leading central banks around the world.
During the final session of the seminar, Bank of Mauritius Governor, Rundheersing Bheenick, spoke about the island economy’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 home-grown capacity in inflation modeling and analysis and in tailoring models to specific countries.
The course, which is part of the IMF’s efforts to assist sub-Saharan African countries to modernize monetary policy, was facilitated by a team of IMF and ATI experts.
“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 sub-Saharan African,” said ATI director Vitaliy Kramarenko.
“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,” he added.
The course started with a review of modern monetary policy making, emphasizing its forward-looking character.
“The course strengthened the capacity of the participants (who are also recipients of IMF’s technical assistance) in the area of quantitative monetary analysis,” said ICD Director, Mr Bulir.
Participants learned about new forecasting techniques and applied them to country studies, including in the context of a macroeconomic model where they also presented their macroeconomic forecasts and policy recommendation to a mock monetary policy committee.
Thirty-one central bank officials from 14 sub-Saharan countries covering Angola, Botswana, Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, Seychelles, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia, attended the seminar.