“Transforming Africa through credible data and statistics is something we take very seriously,” said Oliver Chinganya, Director of the African Centre for Statistics (ACS) at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
He made the statement while presenting ACS’ proposed strategic framework for the 2018-2019 biennium at the 6th meeting of the Statistical Commission for Africa (STATCOM) in Addis Ababa.
Mr. Chingaya reminded STATCOM delegates that ACS is structured to “improve the production, dissemination and use of quality data & statistics within the framework of Agenda 2030 and the African Union’s 2063 Agenda in order to support economic and social development in Africa.”
He noted that the Centre is embarked on strategic work areas, including the production of handbooks and guidelines; implementation of field projects; training; advocacy campaigns to address institutional issues and the design of national strategies on statistics; dissemination of information and best practices; provision of technical assistance; and resource mobilization.
The ECA director also stated that “particular emphasis will be placed on developing manuals for producing harmonized statistics and supporting the statistical working groups dealing with issues related to the harmonization of price statistics.”
The session, which was devoted to ‘ECA’s New Strategic Areas and Statistical Programme,’ was also an opportunity for representatives of African national statistics offices to be presented with synopses of five statutory reports and recommendations for their endorsement.
In his presentation of the “Progress Report on the Implementation of the 2008 System of National Accounts in Africa,” Xiaoning Gong, Chief of Statistics at the ACS, said; “in the past two years, considerable effort and progress have been made by countries in the areas of the compilation, application and dissemination of national accounts.”
He implored STATCOM to evaluate the importance of environmental accounts with regard to sustainability, natural resource management, and environmental policy, and urge member states to prioritize environmental-economic accounts.
Fatouma Sissoko, an ACS Statistician who presented a report on the integrated regional indicator framework for Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, told participants that; “the Regional Indicator for SDGs and Agenda 2063 resulted to a list of 124 indicators with 63 core indicators from the first 10-year implementation plan (2014–2023) Agenda 2063 and 61 complementary indicators from the global list of indicators for the SDGs.”
A presentation on ‘Statistical Capacity Development in Africa’ was also made by ACS’ Chief of Statistical Development, Tinfissi Joseph Ilboudo, who pointed out that in order to implement Africa’s development agenda and the SDGs, statistics training centers must ensure that staff are equipped with the required statistical knowledge. He added, “legislation on statistics must also be aligned with the Fundamental Principles of Official Statistics and the African Charter on Statistics.”
Synopses of two other reports on ‘Population and Housing Censuses’ and ‘Civil Registration and Vital Statistics’ were also presented by Ayenika Godheart Mbiydzenyuy, ECA Statistician, who urged STATCOM to review and endorse the conclusions and recommendations of the reports.
Mr. Chinganya told the group that ACS focuses “on areas where we have a comparative advantage and can add value.”
Under the leadership of the new STATCOM chairperson, Albina Chuwa from Tanzania, the delegates reviewed, discussed, and endorsed the proposed framework.