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Utilise national statistical offices, UNECA advises

KABANDA CHULU, Lusaka
THE United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) says African countries should start relying and using data compiled by their respective national statistical offices to undertake meaningful planning.
Explaining the new concept which the commission has embarked on when compiling country profiles for member states, UNECA regional director Said Adejumobi said on Wednesday that data and statistics have become a major tool in the work of the commission in the formulation of national and macro-economic policies, among other issues.
Dr Adejumobi said time has come for policymakers to focus on data compiled by national statistics offices and bureaus.
“We cannot do any meaningful planning without applying our own data. We need to utilise our data compiled by our people or else, someone will do it for us.”
“Every time we need data, we go to the International Monetary Fund or the World Bank, but we need to change and start looking at our national statistical offices,” he said.
The country profiles being compiled by UNECA will now be based on data from national statistical offices of member states and international organisations.
“So, we thank the Zambian Central Statistical Office (CSO) for the collaboration and provision of data,” Dr Adejumobi said.
And UNECA head of regional data centre Sizo Mhlanga said there is need to help member states to make informed decisions through provision of data compiled by national statistical offices.
CSO assistant director Goodson Sinyenga said the institution is happy with the scope of works done by UNECA.
“Of course, we have noticed some omissions, so it is important to consult national CSOs, but generally, we are ready to supply data that is of good quality to help in formulation of future investment plans, and national policies, among others,” he said.

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