Statistics important in integration agenda say Zambian Government

Zambian_GovernmentThe Zambian Government has applauded COMESA for realizing the importance of Statistical Data as a pre requisite for use in programmes aimed at regional integration

The Zambian Government has applauded COMESA for realizing the importance of Statistical Data as a pre requisite for use in programmes aimed at regional integration

Speaking during the official opening of the Third COMESA Committee Meeting on Statistical Matters at the COMESA secretariat in Lusaka on 31st August 2011, Ministry of Finance and National Planning Permanent Secretary Emmanuel Ngulube, said the reports and updates that the meeting will consider would be of much use to the delegates.

Mr. Ngulube said that the reports would provide the critical inputs that will facilitate successful undertaking of monitoring work in the project areas in the COMESA region.

“By adopting this approach your committee should ensure that the statistical program would be well articulated and inclined to systematic monitoring of its results,” Ngulube echoed.

He added; “Having laid such a good foundation, it is crucial for your committee to begin deliberating on delivering policy responsive statistics so that the statistics your good offices compile can become the desired bridge to evidence driven policy making.”



The permanent Secretary said that there is need to continually interrogate the committee’s work in relation to developments at the international level in order to match the expectations of international best practices.

“I am fully aware of the several statistical frameworks that have been adopted at the United Nations level and I am also fully aware that what is being done at the United Nations level means that all our member States have participated or at least had the opportunity to participate in the development of these frameworks”, Ngulube lamented.

Mr. Ngulube further urged the delegates to appraise themselves with the COMESA regional integration policy agenda especially that COMESA is spearheading the process of realizing the COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite Free Trade Area.

And speaking at the same function, COMESA Secretary General Sindiso Ngwenya said that COMESA’s medium term strategic plan aims at positioning the secretariat to continue playing its key role of further deepening regional integration and seeking win-win integration in the global economy.


Global environment

Mr. Ngwenya further said that an everchanging global environment requires an equally dynamic statistical system, as statistics continue to underpin the basis of the decision-making processes among policy makers.

“In today’s economy, policy makers are always talking about “early warning” systems that can act to foreshadow economic events, therefore, in such an environment, the microscope on statistics will be much more stringent as we witnessed in the aftermath of the global economic crisis,” Ngwenya echoed.

The secretary general said that the global environment is making a demand on statistics in seeking new paradigms of compiling statistics and indicators that conceptually and methodically give a regional picture.

“ As regions integrate, users of statistics will increasingly desire to see regional outlooks as certain decisions such as investment decisions, will be based on a regional rather than just a national picture,” he said.



Mr. Ngwenya said that the COMESA strategic plan is emphatic on a progressive continuum of decisions, programming and monitoring and evaluation.

He said that he is confident that the committee on statistical matters will review the progress made towards the comprehensive work program approved by council in 2010 and also consider new issues that have arisen in the course of the year.

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