Government says the manufacturing industry is an important engine of economic growth as it contributes positively to the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Commerce, Trade and Industry Deputy Minster Richard Taima says this is why statistics on manufacturing activities in the country are a key component of monitoring the progress towards achieving goals and objectives in the Fifth National Development Plan (FNDP).
Speaking in Lusaka today when he officiated at the opening of the International workshop on the manufacturing statistics, Mr. Taima said statistics play a vital role towards assisting government in policy formulation and decision making.
Mr. Taima noted that government also relies on timely and accurate statistics to monitor and evaluate all developmental projects being undertaken at international, regional and local levels.
He pointed out that a growing economy like Zambia needs statistics that can enable her plan for the development economic that can consequently bring about sustainable economic growth and improve the living standards of the citizens.
Meanwhile, Mr. Taima has also disclosed that government is aware of constraints and shortcomings in the production and dissemination of official statistical data in the country.
He cited inadequate funding for statistical operations, inadequate physical infrastructure and out dated legal provisions as some of the challenges that need to be urgently addressed.
Speaking earlier, Central Statistical Office (CSO) Director Elfreda Chulu said in the face of the global economic crisis, there is need for governments to step up efforts in improving the way of compiling statistics in Africa.
Ms. Chulu called for concerted efforts from all stakeholders within the region to work together improve statistical compilation.
United Nations Statistical Division representative Ralf Becker said there is need for countries to have a broad based understanding about statistics if the current data compiling is to be improved.
Mr. Becker explained that through proper understanding of official national information people will be able to make meaningful contribution to the economic growth of their country.
He also challenged governments in the regional to identify key areas that can result in having comprehensive and improving statistics in their countries.
He further thanked the Zambian government through (CSO) for hosting the workshop adding that it will go a long way in not only sharing ideas in statistics but will also assist in enhancing trade and manufacturing relations region.
The three-day workshop organized by the Zambian Central Statistical Office has attracted participants from Southern African Developing Communities (SADC), and the Eastern African Communities (EAC).