Workshop on supporting countries to formulate national action plans for the implementation of 2008 SNA by RECs

By African Union Commission (AUC)

The two days workshop on supporting African countries to formulate national action plans for the implementation of 2008 System of National Accounts (SNA) by the Regional Economic Committees (RECs) kicked off today at the African Union Commission (AUC) in collaboration with the United Nation Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Eurostat. The objective of the workshop is to discuss and agree on the role of RECs that will enable them to support Member States in the execution of their national action plans for implementation of the 2008 SNA. In addition, discuss the role of AUC, ECA and African Development Bank (AFDB) on possible areas of support to Member States in developing national action plans and conducting advocacy as well as the support to the RECs.

The Head of the Statistics Division, department of Economic Affairs of the AUC, Dr Imani Younoussa in his opening statement underscored the importance of the 2008 SNA which serves as a guide for countries in developing their own national accounting systems and to promote regional and international comparability. He noted that with only approximately six countries in Africa using the 2008 SNA,more efforts has to be put in place for the domestication of the instrument.

Moreover, according to Dr Younoussa some of the challenges faced by African countries can be linked to the fact that some countries have more scientific autonomy and budgetary discretion than others, permitting them to undertake surveys and produce statistical reports while others are unable to do so due to various legal, financial and political barriers. Heurged the RECs to foster the adoption and implementation of the 2008 SNA at the various levels in order for African countries to produce quality data and to facilitate the integration into statistical systems so as to achieve consistency with national accounts.

Also speaking was the Chief of the National Accounts and Economic Statistics Section of the UNECA, Mr. Xiaoning Greg Gong who emphasized on the need for a common good understanding of the national action plan template prepared during the African Group on National Accounts (AGNA) 2015 meeting. He highlighted that more than 30 African countries have adopted the Action Plan however, without the inclusive support of the RECs the implementation process cannot be effectively achieved and countries. Therefore, countries will be assigned to work with various RECs for better facilitation of the implementation process.

Worth noting is that the 2008 SNA is the internationally agreed standard set of recommendations on how to compile measures of economic activity using primarily national accounts. The 2008 SNA describes a coherent, consistent and integrated set of macroeconomic accounts in the context of a set of internationally agreed concepts, definitions, classifications and accounting rules.

In addition, the 2008 SNA provides an overview of economic processes, recording how production is distributed among consumers, businesses, government and foreign nations. It indicates how income originating in production, modified by taxes and transfers, flows to these groups and how they allocate these flows to consumption, saving and investment. Consequently, the national accounts are one of the building blocks of macroeconomic statistics forming a basis for economic analysis and policy formulation.