Sierra Leone government opens access to national economic data

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 1 February 2020:

Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance in collaboration with the Bank of Sierra Leone, Statistics Sierra Leone and the Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation last Thursday launched the Sierra Leone Economic Data Analytics website.

The website was launched by Deputy Minister of Finance – Dr Patricia Laverley at the Treasury Building Office in Freetown.

According to the Director of Research and Delivery in the Ministry of Finance Dr Yakama Jones, the economic data analytics website is a platform that host data on key macro-economic variables that will encourage researchers, policy makers and citizens to engage with the data to understand national economic trends, and also create deeper understanding.

She said that the platform doesn’t answer all the questions, but present the data and show the trends. The platform she said can be access online by people in and out of Sierra Leone, noting that it contains information on the exchange rate, consumer price index, inflation, import and export.

She also said that this is phase one of the project and the second phase will be targeting more economic variables.

“We are undertaking a lot reforms and citizens are always concerned about the economy, so this platform is all in the spirit of promoting evidence policy making and making data and information open to citizens and other people to understand what is going on with the economy,” she said.

According to the Deputy Minister of Finance, the platform is fantastic for them as a Ministry, noting that they will not need to contact the Bank Governor for current macro-economic data.

“This is the future direction and I very much appreciate the challenge. This is definitely not a static effort, this is only the beginning,” she said.

She said that whenever they have meeting with the International partners, they normally ask for macro-economic and financial data, noting that this platform will save the Ministry the strain of explaining the macro-economic and financial data of the country, as she thanked DSTI for putting building the platform.

The Deputy Bank Governor – Mr. Ibrahim Stevens, said the platform as a fantastic opportunity for government to provide access to the latest economic data, and stressed the importance of knowledge sharing to solve problems.

The Chief Innovation Officer – Dr David M. Sengeh, said that the platform will ensure evidence decision making from the Presidency down to decision makers in Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the country, adding that it is also an educational and civics platform in which ordinary Sierra Leoneans can find data about the economy.

He said the data that are on the platform cover the last ten years, which will help partners to know for example the foreign exchange trends, and import and export rates in the last 10 years.

“As citizens, it is about how we effectively look at the data over five, three or ten years period and understand what is happening with the economy, understand how our export and import have affected the foreign exchange, understand how election year might have affected what we imported and exported, and understand why we are talking about diversification of the economy,” he said.

He expressed optimism that this work will lead to more research and called on citizens to make use of the platform that is now live.

You can access the site here:

https://edat.dsti.gov.sl/

4 Comments

  1. This is definitely a great initiative provided the data inputs are realistic and practical. The benefits of this data analytic scheme will only be observed if non-propagandists intrinsic data related to the variables being analyzed are used. If those that are in charge of inputting the data decide to input cooked and meritless data to satisfy their political masters, then the analysis of such data will be meaningless as a used up toilet tissue. Time will tell if any of these great initiatives will serve their intended purposes.

  2. Who is it on this glorious forum,that is able to clearly point out to the uneducated,and the poorest of the poor in our struggling nation, the reasons why they will forever continue to live as beggars,going to bed hungry under the rule of notorious SLPP? Anyone? Again,who are these people,that are so far removed from reality,that they are creating websites instead of agricultural farms,and factories that they foolishly think would present solutions,for enhancing progress,Great Sayedna? Wait and See!

    A nation without a solid foundation,that is lacking in direction is what we have now sadly become;Priorities,are not in order,and never will be as long as men like JJ Saffa that lack the skills to be creative in crafting policies that will benefit the poor masses, only think of their own selfish interests. This inept President is doing something rarely ever done before – he is building a house,starting from top to bottom with a roof already in its rightful place.(lol) How many citizens are going to be able to benefit from this National Economic Data platform?

    Perhaps, Dr Laverly should be reminded that the vast majority of our people do not know how to read and write,and neither do they care about currency exchange rates,inflation,and import,or export trends. When the ordinary man or woman becomes worried about the harsh economic realities in our country,they will start looking for diverse ways to earn more money and cater for the urgent needs of their families, and will not depend on a weird! website to find solutions to their pressing problems.

    Forget the unnecessary website for now, and promote adequate measures for facilitating robust agricultural, technical,and vocational studies instead…You cannot become like rich, advanced western nations overnight when you are still crawling and shamelessly stealing rice intended for the children of the poor (lol). SLPP quit pretending that you are completely deaf…its time to think wisely, spend sensibly and cut your clothes according to your cloths…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.

  3. Sierra Leone is becoming a country gathering all kinds of data whilst the stomach of its citizens remain empty. Is that fair? It will be a good idea if this government could gather data on the number of people going hungry each day to enable them get the results to eliminate hunger on the “gron dry” and feed all Sierra Leoneans to their satisfaction. God help SALONE data gathering technology.

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