Oceans: UNECA, ADRS introduce tool to help policy and economic planning in Africa


The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) and Applied Development Research Solutions (ADRS) have launched the Online Economic Analysis System (OCEANS), a web-based economics tool meant to help policymakers and researchers make quantitative predictions of African economies.

OCEANS is a new interactive website that allows users to design, simulate and forecast the impact of alternative economic policy scenarios. The interactive tool allows users to easily input policy reforms for a given country and, within minutes, view how the policy choices affect the country’s economic growth, employment and income. Since each country model is based on its unique input-output dataset, the generated results are unique to each country.

Access to OCEANS is free to all African member-state governments, organizations, and institutions that use the system to conduct public policy research on Africa. Since each country model is based on its unique input-output dataset, the generated results are unique to each country.

Dr. Adam Elhiraika, chief of Macroeconomic Analysis Section and NEPAD Division of UNECA, who has been instrumental in the development of the innovative tool said: “The OCEANS website is the first of its kind. We believe that the interactive tool will become a unique hub for mainstreaming and integrating macroeconomic and sectoral policies in national development strategies.”

Dr Asghar Adelzadeh, the Chief Economic Modeler at ADRS, created OCEANS by expanding on earlier African country models ADRS built. ADRS is a South Africa and US based economic modeling and research company.

OCAENS is already in use in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo and in South Africa while another group of countries – including Burkina Faso and Morocco – have decided to apply it in the coming weeks, she says.

OCEANS  is a new interactive website that allows users to design, simulate and forecast the impact of alternative economic policy scenarios.

The launch of the website was held at the African Economic Conference at the Serena Hotel in Kigali, Rwanda on October 30, 2012. The African Economic Conference holds every year and is jointly convened by the Economic Commission for Africa, (ECA), the African Development Bank, (AFDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).