ECONOMIC STATISTICS AND NATIONAL ACCOUNTS

Core functions

  • Promoting international statistical standards to harmonize economic statistics and national accounts across African countries through designing and implementing regional programmes that are well coordinated across African countries with a view to produce and use quality statistical information in support of countries’ development efforts;
  • Providing advisory services and technical assistance to member States in establishing efficient statistical infrastructure for the collection, processing, compilation, analysis, dissemination, and archiving of economic statistics and national accounts;
  • Providing technical advice and support on the best use of economic statistics and national accounts data for research and analytical work of various ECA divisions;
  • Conducting research and developing manuals, guidelines and tools on concepts, definitions, classifications, methods, and standards related to the production and use of economic statistics and national accounts based on international standard methodologies that are adapted to the African context; and
  • Serving as a clearing house for data from countries for updating the ECA database.

 

Focus Area

  1. The African Project on the 2008 System of National Accounts

    The African Project on the 2008 SNA has been developed to enable Member States to produce timely, quality, and harmonized economic statistics and national accounts in support of good economic governance, regional integration, and sustainable development.

    The SNA is one of the most important statistical systems and frameworks in official statistics. It provides an international standard of concepts, definitions, classifications, and methodology for economic statistics and accounts. National accounts statistics are key indicators for describing the national economy and its interactions with the rest of the world and thus, fundamental for economic analysis and research, monitoring and evaluating the performance of an economy, policy formulation, decision-making, and good economic governance.

    The implementation of the 2008 SNA is an international initiative and commitment, and provides an opportunity to improve the quality, availability, consistency and harmonization of economic statistics and national accounts. The African Strategy and Project for the Implementation of the 2008 SNA was developed by the African Group on National Accounts under the umbrella of the Statistical Commission for Africa. The African Strategy was formulated in accordance with the global strategy for the implementation of the 2008 SNA, based on the recognition that there is a need to strengthen human, technical and financial capacities in African countries.

    The African Project aims to overcome current statistical weaknesses through a continental initiative that brings together all African countries to work collectively to implement the 2008 SNA. The stakeholders of the project include Member States, Regional Economic Communities, AFRISTAT, pan-African institutions (ECA, AfDB, and AUC), regional and international organizations and development partners, and the Secretariat of the Project based at ECA.

    Documents

  2. Meetings

    Economic Statistics and National Accounts meetings cover the following areas:

    • The African Group on National Accounts

      The African Group on National Accounts (AGNA) meets annually and brings together the Heads of National Accounts from the national statistics offices of all African countries. During its annual meeting, the AGNA comprehensively covers national accounts activities in Africa, including coordinating the implementation of the 2008 SNA, harmonizing economic statistics and national accounts among Member States, and building technical and financial support with the aim of strengthening the technical and institutional capacity of Member States.      more files...

    • The Continental Steering Committee of the African Project on the 2008 SNA

      The Continental Steering Committee (CSC) meets annually and brings together key stakeholders of the African Project on the 2008 SNA. The CSC is the governing and decision-making body of the project; and in this capacity, during its biannual meetings, the CSC reviews and assesses the progress of the project, provides policy recommendations and oversight, and oversees the overall coordination and accountability of the Project in order to ensure effective project implementation.     more files...

    • Expert Group Meetings

      Expert Group Meetings (EGMs) are conducted periodically and bring together approximately 25-30 national accounts experts from national statistics offices and relevant ministries. During EGMs, experts share and discuss the experiences and best practices of African countries in compiling national accounts and economic statistics, particularly administrative data, supply and use tables, and informal sector. EGMs serve as an effective forum to present, discuss, and finalize technical operational guidebooks, including the Guidebook on the Use of Administrative Data, the Handbook on Supply and Use Tables, and the Guidebook on Informal Sector.            more files...

    • Trainings and workshops

      Trainings and workshops are conducted periodically with staff from the national statistics offices of Member States. The aim of the technical workshops is to strengthen the technical capacity of national accounts compilers at the national level. Training workshops have been administered to cover the following areas: national accounts, IT tools, ERETES software, supply and use tables, quarterly GDP, and the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting.    more files...

  3. Technical documents

    To further develop the statistical capacities of national statistics offices, a set of technical documents (guidebooks, manuals, and handbooks) have been identified as important operational guides for compiling national accounts. Led by ECA, the technical documents, in the area of supply and use table, administrative data, and the informal sector will lay out clear and specific procedures and methods on how to apply and implement the 2008 SNA in Member States, in line with African countries’ experiences and best practices.

    The process for compiling technical documents includes gathering country experts for sharing African countries’ experiences and best practices, preparing drafts of the technical documents, incorporating international standards and recommendations and African countries’ experiences and best practices, and organizing Expert Group Meetings for reviewing and validating the technical documents.

    ECA is currently finalizing three technical operational guidebooks: Guidebook on the Use of Administrative Data; Handbook on Supply and Use Tables; and Guidebook on Informal Sector.

  4. GNA Account Newsletter

    The AGNA Account is a quarterly newsletter that serves to share information on continental activities related to national accounts and economic statistics. The newsletter is compiled and circulated by ECA, which serves as Secretariat of the AGNA. The AGNA Account receives inputs from all members of the AGNA and the larger African statistical community, including Member States, Regional Economic Communities, AFRISTAT, pan-African institutions, regional and international organizations and development partners.

    Issues of the AGNA Account

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