Top statisticians device strategies to strengthen economic statistics

Africa’s top statisticians met in Grand Bassam, Cote d’Ivoire to discuss the status and challenges of producing economic statistics in Africa and to take stock of the various efforts underway in modernizing official statistics. Organized by the African Union Commission (AUC) and the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the theme of the meeting was: Strengthening economic statistics to support Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.

Addressing the opening, Oliver Chinganya, Director at the ECA’s African Centre for Statistics, said the SDGs and Agenda 2063 have imposed greater needs and demand for broader and more detailed economic statistics. The challenge, he said, requires additional efforts to scale-up the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of economic statistics.rdquo;

Mr Chinganya said that economic statistics are critical to capturing the production, expenditure and consumption among various economic actors and stressed that in Africa, quality, timely, and comparable economic statistics are critical for the continents’ agenda on regional integration, structural economic transformation, and sustainable development.rdquo;

Statisticians and economists continue to face numerous challenges, such as the growing demand for statistics on new or previously unaccounted economic activities; the need to balance data collection strategies and outputs against limited resources; and the increasing demand for quality, timely, and harmonized statistics by regional and international development initiatives, including the SDGs and Agenda 2063.

He called for strengthening the technical and institutional capacity of National Statistics Offices to collect, compile, analyze and disseminate national and sub-national economic statistics data. He also stressed the need to integrate national monitoring and evaluation systems into statistical capacity building from the outset so as to ensure a reliable supply of core statistics with which to monitor and evaluate the attainment of the SDGs and Agenda 2063.rdquo;

The five-day gathering took place in the context of a joint, back-to-back assembly of the 10th Committee of Director Generals of National Statistical Offices and the Statistical Commission for Africa (STATCOM), which was preceded by the 5th Session of Statistical Commission for Africa.

Source: United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).z