THE Pan African Statistics Programme (PAS) has conducted special training on national accounts statistics to National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) staff. Speaking with our reporter during training held at NBS offices in Dodoma, PAS expert Bernd Struck said it was part of the project’s technical assistance to member states to build capacity in managing and compilation of national accounts statistics.
He said four-day training only focused on supply and use of tables, institutional sector accounts and regional accounts “which were on the NBS agenda”. He explained that national accounts are done according to international standards, rules and guidelines and therefore, such type of training was important to ensure the country produced quality national accounts statistics.
“For your readers and others, who are unfamiliar with this subject it is wise to inform them that there are set standards, rules and guidelines governing the compilation of national accounts, which makes them internationally acceptable,” he said.
During training he said trainees were taken through presentations, practical exercises and discussions on “how we are doing in Tanzania and how it is done in accordance with international standards.” He noted that national accounts statisticians were not producing statistics, but were mainly users of economic statistics to produce national account statistics.
“National accounts is basically between producers and users of economic statistics. We, at national accounts, do not produce data because we neither conduct surveys nor census, but use data collected from our colleagues in economic statistics like trade, agriculture, tourism and the like. He noted that training on national accounts statistics was not an easy task because it was a bit complicated particularly for those, who were new to the subject.
As regards the team he works with, Mr Struck said “With a mix of beginners and experienced ones it was somehow difficult for me to find a compromise not to be too boring for experienced ones and not too difficult for beginners, but as you can see the programme is going on well and interests both.” The PAS expert said his mission to Tanzania made him also learn the country’s experience from previous projects and further assess whether there was a need for assistance or not.
The main objective of the European Union (EU) funded programme is to improve the production and dissemination of quality statistics in Africa and support the African Union (AU) members in strengthening institutional capacity to provide comparable official statistics. These comparable statistics are needed to support and strengthen the integration process of AU and measure African progress towards global goals.
Meanwhile, Acting Director of the Directorate of Economic Statistics, Daniel Masolwa thanked PAS for supporting Tanzania in strengthening its capacity to produce quality statistics. “For training on national accounts statistics,” he said, “it has come at an opportune time because the department has received new staff, who seriously need such training. We recently welcomed new staff in our department so we have new and experienced staff.
Hence, it has benefitted both of us. The mission has come at the right time,” he said. He said Tanzania was fortunate to have an expert like Mr Struck, who had vast experience from both Europe and Africa in this specialty.
“National accounts is a very complicated subject matter with a very few experts, who have African experience. Not every expert in this area can be helpful to developing countries,” he said, adding that it was, therefore, “an honour to get Mr Struck, who had vast experience in the African environment.
“Not every national accounts expert can train in Africa because Africa “we have more challenges than developed countries.” On the importance of training, Mr Masolwa noted that having well-trained experts in national account was crucial because national accounts statistics were key to various development and economic indicators.
A PASSERBY tries to find something valuable dropped from a truck T719 ADX which rammed into a trench after veering off Nelson Mandela Expressway in Buguruni, Dar es Salaam, yesterday. (Photo by Mohamed Mambo)