National Bureau of Statistics stresses trade data

DODOMA: STATISTICIAN General, Dr Albina Chuwa  has underlined the importance of  national  and international trade statistics in indicating import and export trends locally and internationally.

She gave the sentiments on Wednesday as Tanzania joined  the rest of countries in the continent to mark  the  African Statistics Day following agreement signed some three decades ago, aimed at accelerating development.

The day was preceded by various activities whereas the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in collaboration with the Eastern African Statistical Training Centre (EASTC) convened a conference that brought together different stakeholders to discuss statistical issues.

African Statistics Day is an annual event that is celebrated on November 18th of every year, to raise public awareness of the importance of statistics in all aspects of social and economic life.

This year’s theme is “Modernising Data Ecosystems to Accelerate the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) The Role of Official Statistics and Big Data in the Economic Transformation and Sustainable Development of Africa.”

Dr Chuwa observed that to fulfill the objectives of the agreement, States parties need to progressively eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers to trade in goods,  progressively liberalise trade in services, cooperate on investment, intellectual property rights and competition policy,  and cooperate on all trade-related areas, among
others.

According to Dr Chuwa, AfCFTA aimed at creating a single African market for goods and services facilitated by free movement of persons,capital, and investment to deepen economic integration, promote and attain sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development, and gender equality.

She added that the AfCFTA aims to contribute to establishing regional value chains in Africa, enabling investment and job creation.

However, countries can choose the most suitable dates to mark the day and it is on that ground that Tanzania is celebrating yesterday.

The theme aligns with the African Union theme of this year,“Acceleration of the AfCFTA Implementation”, and encapsulates the call to modernise data systems on the continent to produce and use high-quality official statistics and seize the opportunities that big data presents.

“The practical implementation of the AfCFTA has the potential to foster industrialisation, job creation, and investment, thus enhancing the competitiveness of Africa in the medium to long term.” She said.

Godfrey Chaga from EATC argued that the 2022- Population and Housing Census reminds people that statistics remain important in trade and planning, from family to national level, calling on them to use the data.

Opening the conference, Dodoma Regional Commissioner, Ms Rosemary Senyamule appealed to the rest of African countries to rightfully use official statistics at  both national and continental levels.

Ms  Senyemule reminded the gathering that Tanzania ranks beyond many African countries in producing reliable and scientific data.

She  argued that the government has invested heavily in statistical sector and that this in evident in the last 2022- Population and Housing Census.

The RC  said no country has managed to conduct both population and housing census at the same time, using almost own financing, noting that a lot of preparations were involved.

“It is our plea that fellow countries use official data for the betterment of our countries and continent at large” she said, adding that data produced by the country are trusted beyond the continent.

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