Official statistics are said to be important as they provide direction and guidance to all thematic areas of the economy, in supporting national and international agenda such as the NDP11, Vision 2036, SDGs, and Africa Agenda 2063, among others.
The call was made by Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Statistics Botswana and Ministry of Transport and Communications (MTC) on 15th February, 2019.
Dr Mguni said the aim of the collaboration of the two organizations is to ensure production and provision of timely, accurate and relevant transport & communications and other related statistics that are vital for the nation’s policy formulation, evidence based decision making as well as monitoring and evaluation.
On ICT, Dr Mguni said it continues to be a key enabler of economic and social development, bridging the digital divide and fostering an inclusive digital economy.
“The world is making strides towards a more inclusive global information society through improved transport infrastructure and communication networks. This is indeed particularly so as the world has entered into the 4th Industrial revolution”, he said.
Dr Mguni further buttressed that the collaboration between SB and the Ministry is also consistent with the implementation of the Botswana Strategy for Development of Statistics (BSDS) which was launched in October, 2015 with the aim of strengthening the coordination of the National Statistical System.
“Statistics Botswana stands committed to this collaboration and pledges its support in providing technical backstopping that will ensure adherence to internationally recognized standards in the production of official transport and communication statistics”, he said.
For his part MTC Permanent Secretary, Mr Kabelo Ebineng said the signing of the MoU comes at an opportune time in that the data generated by the MTC will now be authenticated by SB to be used by researchers, academia and international bodies.
Mr Ebineng further said that transport and communications sectors are an essential component of the economy with strong effects on development and welfare of the population.
“When transport and communications systems are efficient, they provide socio economic opportunities and benefits which will result in positive multiplier effect such as better accessibility to markets, employment and additional investments”, he said.
On other issues Mr Ebineng said infrastructure development on ICT or transport must be guided by authentic information, adding that SB is responsible for the development and management of official statistics.
The purpose of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is to collaborate and cooperate to pursue effective and efficient production and the use of official Transport, Communications and related statistics including data sets that are specific to the Ministry.
The two organizations will cooperate in the following areas:
• Collaboration in the innovative data processing, data dissemination and statistical capacity building;
• Measurement of access and usage of Transport and Communications infrastructure and services through collection, processing and dissemination of telecommunications, ICT, postal services, road, rail, air, water and transport safety administrative data among others;
• Production and provision of timely, accurate, and relevant Transport, Communications and other Ministry statistics that are vital for the nation’s policy formulation, evidence based decision making, monitoring and evaluation; and
• General improvement of Transport and Communications sector statistics plans or strategies.