CENTRAL bank officials across the region are training in Monetary and Exchange Rate Policy, to acquaint themselves with skills to cope with the changing economic trends.
The two week workshop, which brought together 34 participants, was sponsored by the Institute for Capacity Development (ICD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in partnership with East African Regional Training Centre (East-AFRITAC).
The objective of the course was to broaden participants' understanding of monetary and exchange rate policy, drawing from experiences from emerging market economies in sub-Saharan Africa and around the world.
The course is in line with IMF's new strategy aimed at better coordinating technical assistance and training and to enhance capacity development in response to the shifting needs and priorities of member countries.
"No one would choose to be the central bank governor at this time when its constant that there is a change every day, but thanks to IMF who keep us abreast with global dynamics and facilitate us to confront the shock that we are facing," said Governor of the Central bank Amb Claver Gatete during the closing ceremony of the workshop.
"We used to experience a shock in a decade or two. Media and academia could write about it for about ten years but to-date, they can't even cope because tomorrow is different from today and there is a concern there may be a change the next day," Gatete added. The changing situation requires the central banks to re-organise, and do things differently.
"We (central bank) feel the heat every day because if things go bad, we are the to blame, so that's why IMF support is critical," he said.
The training was a follow up TOa recent seminar on monetary policy frameworks organised by the IMF's African Department for governors of central banks in the region.
Dmitry Gershenson, the IMF Resident Representative in Rwanda said that over the past decade, macroeconomic management has improved in Africa.
"With fiscal policy at more sustainable paths, central banks across the region are beginning to enhance their monetary policy strategies by building a stronger analytical and institutional capacity," he said.
"Africa grew stronger as a region in those years, and now, it is the second fastest growing region in the world after the emerging Asia," Gershenson said.
The growth trend, however, was reversed during the global financial crisis when the African economies slumped.
He also observed that Africa, especially Sub Saharan Africa recovered fast from the crisis because of quality macroeconomic policies.
Marc Quityn, Chief of African division at ICD, said the course has created a positive impact in Ghana where a similar workshop was conducted.
"As a result Ghana is now the most advanced country in sub-Saharan Africa in terms of monetary policy," he said.
Rose Kutesa, a participant from Ugandan central bank, said the course was very interactive adding that it was a chance to share experience.
"We almost share every challenge like volatile economies which are growing fast, lack of real sector data and young and vulnerable markets," she said.
Participants trained in measurement of relevant variables in inflation and exchange rates, interest rates and experimental monetary policy analysis, among others.