Investors need quality data to make long-term commitments – Barclays Africa

Business News of Thursday, 10 August 2017

Source: thebftonline.com

2017-08-10

Barclays Africa

For investors looking to set up in the country, quality and transparent data remain key determinants in making that decision, which the country can barely boosts of, Barclays Bank Africa’s Principal Strategists has said.

Sound and update to data is very important for investors to know where to invest, the length or tenure of commitment, Ridle Markus said. “You need to have quality data so that you can determine whether you still want to be committed to this country or not.”

Mr. Markus, who was speaking at day one of the sixth edition of the Ghana Economic Forum (GEF), an annual two-day thought provoking event organised by the Business and Financial Times (B&FT), opined that apart from stabilising the fiscal space, it is important for the country to build up its data space to attract the needed investments and accelerate economic growth.

“The data quality and data frequency and the width of the data, and the depth of the data is not always so easily available in many of the markets in the sub-Saharan space. So it is a challenge and it is a critical one for investors to make sure that they commit to your country,” he pointed out.

Though he said Ghana was doing better on the average, compared to its counterparts in sub-Saharan African, more still needs to be done in building up wide variety, as well as credible data to entice long-term investors.

“The quality of the Ghanaian data is probably better in the African space, he said, “but for you to make effective policy decisions, you need to ensure that: the data is frequently published; is the right kind of data that investors want; that the data is credible that you can believe it; that you have got a wide variety of data; and there is transparency in these numbers. For example, at any point in time do you know how many foreign investors make up a particular sector of the economy?”

Commenting on the way forward, Mr. Markus advised that that the country should make critical investments in infrastructure and personnel

He said, “Start by making sure that the right infrastructure is available, and I am not talking about roads and those kind of things, but I am talking about ensuring that your stats office is well equipped; that you have got the right people do the analysis; and then you take it to the next level , which is the policy level that the data is presented in a way that is useful for policy making.”

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