African Statistics day is commemorated every year on 18th, November. The day is celebrated in order to create public awareness on the role of statisticians in the production of statistics for the African social-economic development.  Each year, different themes have been proposed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). The theme for this year was ‘Quality Data to Support African Progress’.

Three days before the event, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with representatives from Statistics Departments of Higher learning Institutions carried out Radio and Television programmes on the theme for this year as part of statistical advocacy. Also, on the event day journalists were invited for live media coverage and news publication.

In Tanzania, African Statistics day was commemorated on the 20th November, 2013 at the National Museum in Dar es Salaam from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 pm. It was a half day event organized by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The event was attended by different stakeholders in statistics including, representatives from International Organizations, Ministerial Departments, and Agencies, Members of the Parliament, NGOs, Students and Private sector.

Before the official opening, the World Bank representative on behalf of Development Partners (DPs) addressed the audience with the following key messages;

  • The importance of quality data should not be under estimated,
  • Data is knowledge and knowledge is power; power to achieve specific objectives,
  • The attributes of quality data include reliability, accessibility and timeliness,
  • strengthening

The welcoming remarks were presented by the Director General of the NBS, Dr. Albina A. Chuwa who focused on the Mission, Vision and Statistical Coordination role of the NBS. She also highlighted on the efforts underway to strengthen data collection processes under the Tanzania Statistical Master Plan (TSMP). She further emphasized that through TSMP, producers and users of statistics are guided on the use of agreed standard methods and definitions set by the United National Statistical Office regarding production and dissemination of official statistics.

The celebrations was officiated by the Deputy Minister for Finance, Hon. Saada M. Salum (MP). In her speech she focused on the theme for this year celebrations i.e.  ‘Quality Data to Support African Progress’ with emphasis on the attributes of good quality data and the collective responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure availability of good quality data for planning and evidence based decision making. She requested data producers to make use of the existing international standards and classifications in order to provide quality statistics to support planning for development.

The event was made live by a special statistical advocacy song, with a message similar to the theme of this year’s celebrations ‘Quality data to support African progress’. Likewise, there was an open discussion, led by panellists from the NBS, Police Force, Parliament, Eastern Africa Statistical Training Centre (EASTC) and Research and Poverty Alleviation (REPOA). Participants were given opportunity to ask questions on the theme or any other question relating to statistics. Many questions were directed to the panellist through special question cards distributed to the invitees and prompt answers were provided. However, most of the questions focused on the operational roles of the NBS.

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