Statistical Commission for Africa and Committee of National Statistics Offices meet in Tunis

ADEA WGEMPS participated in the First joint session of the Committee of Director Generals of National Statistics Offices (CoDGs) and the Statistical Commission for Africa (StatCom-Africa). 

The conference, which took place December 10, 2014 in Tunis, Tunisia was attended by over 300 delegates representing 46 member states, over 20 partners, and two Regional Economic Communities (RECs). It was jointly organized and funded by the African Union Commission (AUC), the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the Tunisian National Statistics Office. It focused mainly on: (i) the status of statistical development in the various specialized areas; (ii) efforts made by sub-regional, regional and international organizations as well as development partners in statistical development on the continent; and (iii) defining modalities for the coordination of on-going statistical capacity building activities on the continent. 

ADEA WGEMPS, which was part of the drafting team for three sessions, prepared a report and a presentation of the specialized technical group (STG) on Science Technology and Education which was presented by Nigeria. The report focused on continental and institutional arrangements; education statistical databases and monitoring mechanisms; education statistical reporting and capacity building; statistical challenges facing the sector and recommendations to the directors general. Recommendations from the NEPAD agency, which advocated for the inclusion of science, technology and innovation in the report, were seconded by Nigeria and adopted by the conference.

The status, challenges and the way forward on the African Charter of Statistics; the African Union Institute for Statistics and the Pan African Statistical Training Centre were highlighted by the AUC’s Statistics Division.

WGEMPS also attended a two-day Expert Group Meeting (EGM) on the use of mobile devices for data collection in which several presentations were made by ten member states and three partners outlining the status of  the utilization of mobile devices to collect data. It was highlighted that in order to drive the data revolution agenda in Africa there is a need to provide facilities that will enable an average statistician to be able to collect all the statistics required to enable statisticians more time to focus on analysis, monitoring and quality control mechanisms. WGEMPS also attended a session on the African Information Highway and a panel discussion on the data revolution.

The meetings were an opportunity for WGEMPS to organize a side meeting on the AU data portal. The meeting was attended by the AU’s Education and Statistics Division, the NEPAD agency and WGEMPS. It culminated in an agreement on the need for a common portal on Education, Science and Technology, and the necessity for holding a technical meeting on this new platform. 

The Tunisian government informed the meeting that it will assume the costs associated with the Institute for Statistics for three years. It was recommended that the contents of the documents regarding the Institute for Statistics and the Pan African Statistical Training Centre be thoroughly reviewed and finalized based on the comments received for further presentation to the Heads of States Summit to be held in March 2015. 

For more information, contact  Angela Arnott, Interim Coordinator, WGEMPS, [email protected] or Brighton Mutasa, Statistician, WGEMPS, [email protected]