The day was set aside by the twenty-fifth Session of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Sixteenth Meeting of African Ministers responsible for Economic Planning and Development in 1990, for African countries to reflect on the importance of statistics in development of their countries.
The objective is to raise public awareness of the importance of statistics in all aspects of social and economic life of countries in Africa.
This year’s theme is: “Modernising national statistical systems to provide data and statistics to support sustainable peace and development in Africa.”
And Chilima, who is also Minister of Economic Planning and Development says here in Malawi, the day is being commemorated at the right time when the government is geared to improving the welfare of Malawians through statistical and evidence based decision making processes to accurately respond to the needs of the populace.
“The theme raises awareness among data users about the critical importance of governance and social economic statistics in achieving sustainable development. Therefore, I would like to implore and encourage my fellow Malawians to utilize statistical information in planning, policy formulation, programming and governance,” he said in a brief statement.
Meanwhile, National Statistical Office (NSO) Commissioner Mercy Kanyuka says the theme was in tandem with the theme of the African Union for the year 2020, “Silencing the guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development”.
She said: “Governance, peace and security statistics are fundamental to ensuring that the relationship between the State and its people is inclusive, transparent and accountable and contribute to the prevention and management of conflict and violence.”
Kanyuka said in Malawi, NSO has adopted new technologies such as use of Call Centre where interviewers call respondents to collect data and use of emails to collect Industry Statistics whenever possible.