Capacity Development Talk: Nowcasting: Using Big Data to Track Economic Activity in Sub-Saharan Africa


Location: IMF Connect

You can also find the video of this event on YouTube and Facebook.

This capacity development talk will present a suite of high-frequency and granular country-level indicator tools that can be used to track and forecast changes in economic activity for countries where data availability limits efforts for coordinated policy responses. This event will showcase some success stories from sub-Saharan Africa.



Andy Berg

Deputy Director, IMF Institute for Capacity Development

Andrew Berg is Deputy Director of the IMF’s Institute for Capacity Development, with responsibility for internal and external training. Previously, he was chief of the Development Macroeconomics Division in the IMF’s Research Department and before that held a variety of positions in the IMF, including chief of the Regional Studies Division the African Department as well as mission chief to Malawi. He first joined the IMF in 1993. He has also worked at the U.S. Treasury as Deputy Assistant Secretary for East Asia and Latin American (2000-2001) and Chief Economist of the Mexico Task Force (1995-1996). He was an associate of Jeffrey in Poland (1989-1991) and Russia (1993). He has published articles on, among other things, the sources of sustained growth accelerations, the macroeconomics of aid, the use of early warning systems for predicting currency crises, inequality and growth, debt sustainability analysis, the management of natural resource wealth, and monetary policy in low-income countries. 


Margarida Martins

Senior Economist, IMF Statistics Department



Margarida Martins is a Senior Economist in the Real Sector Division of the IMF Statistics Department since 2016. This includes participation on technical assistance and training missions, assisting economies on themes related to National Accounts and High-Frequency Indicators, and backstopping IMF capacity development activities in several regions, including Central America, Central Africa, Caribbean, Eastern and Southeastern Europe. 

Innocent Molalapata

Deputy Director in the Research and Financial Stability Department, Bank of Botswana


Innocent Molalapata is the Deputy Director responsible for the Monetary Policy and Forecasting Division in the Research and Financial Stability Department at Bank of Botswana, since February 2019. He is a member of the Monetary Policy and Open Market Auctions Committees at Bank of Botswana. Mr Molalapata first joined the Bank of Botswana in 2006 as a Trainee Economist and was re-designated Economist in 2008. He left the Bank of Botswana in 2012 to join the Competition Authority of Botswana, where he worked as a Manager, Mergers and Monopolies. Mr Molalapata later re-joined the Bank of Botswana in 2017 as Principal Economist in the Research and Financial Stability Department. Prior to joining the Bank, he also worked for Standard Chartered Bank Botswana in 2005. Mr Molalapata has lectured Monetary and Financial Systems, and Elements of Banking at the Botswana Institute of Banking and Finance. He holds a Master of Commerce degree in Applied Econometrics and Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) degree in Applied Econometrics, both obtained from the University of the Free State in the Republic of South Africa. He also graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce degree in Economics and Econometrics from the University of Johannesburg in 2005. Furthermore, he holds a postgraduate Diploma in Economics for Competition Law obtained from Kings College in London. Mr Molalapata has co-authored and published, among others, articles on Evaluation of the Performance of the Bank of Botswana’s Inflation Forecasting Model, Bank of Botswana Research Bulletin, November 2020 Vol 33 (1), 1-5 and The Price Puzzle and the Role of South African Monetary Policy in Botswana and Namibia, Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences (JEF), April 2012 Vol 5(1), 193–214. 

Abdoul Aziz Wane

Director, IMF Africa Training Institute and AFRITAC South


Mr. Wane joined the IMF in 2001 after working as lecturer and senior lecturer at the University of Saint-Louis and University of Dakar, respectively. In the IMF, prior to becoming director of the Africa Training Institute and the Regional Technical Assistance Center for Southern Africa, he held mission chief positions for the Republic of Congo and Guinea, resident representative positions in Mali and Guinea, and worked in the Fiscal Affairs and the Strategy, Policy and Review Departments. He holds a doctorate in economics.