Ministry of National Development Planning Permanent Secretary Chola Chabala has commended the launch of a joint cooperation project between the Zambia Statistics Agency (ZAMSTATS) and Statistics Sweden.
Mr. Chabala was speaking at the annual African Statistics Day commemoration in Lusaka where ZAMSTATS and Statistics Sweden launched the joint bilateral project.
“As a demonstration to the importance of partnerships in improving production of statistics and its use, today we will witness the launch of a joint cooperation project between the Zambia Statistics Agency and Statistics Sweden. The overall objective is to enhance statistical capacity in ZAMSTATS to ensure production of timely, demand-driven and quality statistics and data for policy formulation,” said Mr. Chabala, who is in charge of Development Planning and Administration. “The specific areas of support are: strengthening the national statistical system; improved range and quality of statistical production; improved user access and understanding of existing statistics; and a robust ICT environment that supports efficient production of statistics.”
The theme for this year’s African Statistics Day is: “modernising national statistical systems to provide data and statistics to support sustainable peace and development in Africa.”
Mr. Chabala said the theme was chosen to raise awareness among decision-makers, technical and financial partners, data producers, researchers and the general public on the importance of governance and socio-economic statistics in achieving the goal of a free Africa.
He said the theme underscores the need for sustained peace, good governance and inclusive economic growth as essential ingredients to build a harmonious African community underpinned by vast social and economic opportunities for its citizens.
He said the the Zambian Government is cognisant of the need to undertake statistical reforms in order to promote production, understanding and use of official statistics.
Mr. Chabala said the new Statistics Act No 13 of 2018, which is being implemented will broaden statistics beyond the traditional areas of social, economic, financial, environment and agriculture but to include governance and other appropriate statistics.
And Deputy Head of Mission at the Swedish Embassy in Zambia, Susanna Hughes, said the role of Statistics Sweden will be to support ZAMSTATS in its capacity development and to provide advice on determining relevant and suitable methods and procedures for statistics in Zambia.
“The cooperation is premised on a peer-to-peer approach to development cooperation where the partners at ZAMSTATS work hand-in-hand with their peers from Statistics Sweden. By working together there is sharing of experiences and knowledge, and thus capacity is jointly developed,” said Ms. Hughes. “Our cooperation aims at increased access by the users to unbiased, reliable and quality statistics that are timely, accurate and relevant to meet their needs.”
And UNFPA Assistant Representative Sibeso Mululuma said it was gratifying that the Government of Zambia remains commitment to the successful undertaking of the Census.
“UNFPA wishes to reaffirm its commitment to collaborating with the Government and other stakeholders in: aadvancing institutional and ethnical capacity development for data collection, processing, analysis and use; uundertaking of the 2020 housing and population census; generating and practical use of geospatial data; ssupporting other national studies that relate to population and development, including the on-going Population Situation Analysis,” said Ms. Mululuma. “As we start to collectively engage in stakeholder consultation processes that will ultimately inform the development of the 8th National Development Plan; the use of disaggregated data by age, sex, geographic location, wealth quintile and all other variables relevant for the country is important.”
And speaking for United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Dr. Sizo Mhlanga acknowledged the growing interlinkages between development, peace security and human rights.
“Development cannot happen when there is no peace and without development peace is precarious and the respect for human rights in times of conflict is never threatened,” said Dr. Mhlanga.
This is according to a media statement issued by Ministry of National Development Planning spokesperson Chibaula D. Silwamba.