Since the establishment of SADC Statistics Committee, a number of statistics projects and programmes have been developed and implemented in the region aimed at achieving various regional strategic goals. This was said by Statistician General, Anna Majelantle during the opening of the 23rd SADC Statistics Committee meeting on Monday in Gaborone. Majelantle said some of key statistics milestone achieved during the period include SADC Statistics training strategy; the Regional Strategy for Development of Statistics (RSDS); the SADC Statistical Yearbook’ the monthly harmonised consumer price indices and the integrated trade statistics database among others.
The committee was established in 1995 and achievement of these milestones, according to Majelantle attest to the Committee’s commitment to the harmonization of statistical systems and adoption of common statistical standards in conformity with international best practices to facilitate production of comparable and quality statistical data in the region. Statistics Botswana chairperson Letsema Motsemme said in order to achieve the goals of the RSDS which was approved in 2013 during the SADC Council meeting, it is essential that there is alignment of the National Statistical Systems of the Member States with the regional statistics priorities. “In this context, we must endeavour to foster much closer collaboration and working relationship between SADC secretariat and National Statistics Systems of the respective member states,” said Motsemme.
He urged those in attendance to keep abreast with the latest global developments and initiatives in statistics so as to remain relevant and embrace best practice in production and dissemination of quality official statistics. In addition, let us be objective and impartial in our reporting. You will be aware of many instances where statisticians have been persecuted by interest groups for telling the truth. The reason for such persecution is that the numbers did not support the point of view of certain interest groups.”