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: