The deputy governor in charge of operations in the Bank of Zambia Mr. Bwalya Ng’andu has called on African countries to have coordination system among government institutions that produce and store economic data.
He made the call while speaking at a meeting that discussed how to address data gaps for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) economic indicators in Africa in Addis Ababa Conference of African ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.
According to him, researchers of any country would have difficulty to find data from ministry of health, planning, finance, central bank or from any other agency if the coordination among those institutions is not good. He said that poor storage of data also makes it difficult to know which data is available, “It is not surprising that sometimes we collect and store data, but cannot locate specific information we need. It is like an unmarked grave in a graveyard.”
Similarly, director of African Centre for Statistics at UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Mr. Oliver Chinganya called for African countries to strengthen their national statistical systems, improve coordination between the statistical lead agency, related line ministries, and other data producers. He explained that, of the 240 indicators composing the Sustainable Development Goals monitoring framework, 63 of them are economic in nature or require economic and financial statistics. “Therefore, African countries must be able to benchmark economic data efficiently and see year on year progress in achieving the SDGs. If you cannot measure it, you cannot manage it”, he said.
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