By Staff Reporter

Addis Ababa, 16 November 2022 (ECA) – The UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) hosts a celebration for Africa Statistics Day 2022 on the theme “Strengthening data system by modernizing the production and use of agricultural statistics with a view of informing policies to improve resilience in agriculture, nutrition, and food security on the African Continent.” The event is organized in collaboration with the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the Food and Agricultural Organization of the UN (FAO).

Oliver Chinganya, Director of the African Centre for Statistics at the ECA, explains, “the webinar intends to inspire our thinking on the need to strongly advocate for statistics daily – especially agricultural statistics given their critical role in shaping the farm economy as a more sustainable livelihood.”

In her keynote address, H.E Minister of State in Charge of Economic Planning for the Government of the Republic of Rwanda, Uwera Claudine, advises that “improving agricultural data systems will close existing data gaps by ensuring a reliable flow of timely data for informed approaches to advance policy dialogue and policymaking towards building resilient systems for sustainable agriculture and by extension, food security on the continent.”

Chief of the Economics and Statistics Division at the Pan-African Institute for Statistics, Adoum Gagoloum, highlights the critical role Africa Statistics Day plays in the African agenda, “it is an opportunity for data users to get together and deliver a message to political decision-makers, civil society and the private sector.” He also notes the need to strengthen data systems to enable us to develop human capital and social and economic development.

Acting Director for Statistics at the AfDB, Louis Kouakou, reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to supporting National Statistical Offices across the continent “we are supporting African countries through the Statistical Capacity Building project which provides technical assistance on various statistical domains including agricultural statistics.”

FAO’s Chief Statistician, Pietro Gennari, delivered a presentation on the capacity of African countries to monitor food and agriculture relating to the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicators. He explained, “while data availability across Africa is increasing, data gaps in key indicators and some countries still constrain the continent’s ability to design and implement targeted interventions to combat food insecurity, malnutrition and the degradation of natural resources.” Mr. Gennari recommends a systemic approach to improve the production and use of food and agriculture-related SDG indicators within a broader effort to modernize national statistical systems.  

Other presenters at the event included the Director General of Ghana Statistical Services, Samuel Annim, the Director of Agricultural Statistics for Benin, Alexandre Biaou and the Acting Director of the National School of Statistics and Analysis, Idrissa Diagne.

Each year, Africa Statistics Day revolves around raising awareness amongst decision-makers, development partners, data producers and users, academia, researchers, and the public on the importance of statistics. National Statistical Offices in member States  organize a series of events to celebrate the Africa Statistics Day and foster debate around the theme. This year, the events focus more  on the conducting of agricultural censuses, surveys and adoption of modern tools and methodologies for analyzing food security, as well as the use of statistics in planning, monitoring and evaluation in Africa.