By VIOLET MENGO
SECRETARY to the Cabinet Roland Msiska has launched Zambiaâ€™s first National Statistical Development Strategy (NSDS) aimed at coordinating and harmonising national statistical information.
Dr Msiska said the national statistical development system is a strategic plan formulated for the development of an integrated national statistics system.
Speaking during the launch of the NSDS in Lusaka yesterday, Dr Msiska said the successful implementation of the strategic plan requires that the current national statistical law is streamlined in line with the current demand of the national statistical system.
â€œThe current census and statistical Act Chapter 127 was enacted in 1955 with amendments made to it in 1963, 1964, 1965 and 1994. This Act is quite old and not suitable for collecting and analysing data for modern economic and social system,â€ Dr Msiska said.
He said the Act does not provide for sound institutional framework for the coordination of statistical system and harmonisation of the statistical production.
â€œI am happy that the current statistical Act is in the process of been repealed and replaced with a new statistical Act and I am aware that the stakeholder consultative meeting will be held (tomorrow) today to review the draft statistical bill,â€ he said.
Dr Msiska urged all the players in the national statistical system to fully support the legislative changes aimed at putting and placing a well-coordinated and harmonised statistic system.
He said the new statistic Act will create a semi-autonomous institution to replace the current department of the census and statistical.
â€œThe achievement of this transformation will make Zambia join other countries in the region and beyond that have fulfilled the requirement for the creation of semi-autonomous statistical agent as recommended by the African Charter on statistics and the United Nations fundamental principles for the official statistics,â€ Dr Msiska said.
Dr Msiska said government considers the NSDS as an important document for the delivery of good governance, once successfully implemented.
â€œI expect that through the national strategy, allocation of resources for statistics activities will be prioritsed and rationalised,â€ he said.
And Central Statistical Office director John Kalumbi said the NSDS is a strategic plan for the improvement of the national statistical system which comprises data producers, suppliers, users, research and training institutions.
He said the strategic plan will run from 2014 to 2018.
Zambia signed and subsequent ratified African Charter on statistics in 2009, further in accordance with the 1994 United Nations Fundamental principles of official statistics, the government approved NSDS on May 5 2014.
The NSDS is aimed at ensuring an integrated national statistical system is established for the production of reliable comprehensive and harmonised official statistics that are useful for decision-making.
By VIOLET MENGO