Statistics Botswana (SB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Botswana (UB) on 26th June 2018 at the Woodlane Hotel, Gaborone. The Statistician General, Dr Burton Mguni and University of Botswana Vice Chancellor, Professor David Norris spearheaded the signing of the MoU.
The MoU between the two institutions aims to strengthen cooperation mainly in the areas of:
• Training and capacity building through exchange programs, attachments, enhancement of officers and students skills, exposure on various statistical areas including census/ survey/research methods as well as continuous refresher courses, etc.;
• Development of systems for specific statistical data processing applications;
• Conduct of joint surveys/researches on identified subject areas and guide each other on analysis and presentation of census/survey/research results;
• The general use of facilities for training purposes, advocacy for and dissemination of statistics shall also be considered; and most importantly;
• Collaboration in community education to increase mathematical, statistical and research awareness and knowledge to the public.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Statistician General Dr Mguni said the signing is an excellent example of the strength of cooperation between the two institutions and is also a clear indicator that the institutions are committed to both the production of quality official statistics, and statistical development in general.
“Statistics Botswana and University of Botswana have much in common. Built into both our DNA is a commitment to innovation on data collection and analysis as well as the spirit of pioneering new ways of better developing statistics and its use in research and decision making in the country”, he said.
Dr Mguni also reiterated that the signing of the MoU is a huge incentive for both SB and UB as it aims to strengthen collaboration mainly in areas of Training and capacity building, Development of systems for specific statistical data processing applications, conduct of surveys/researches as well as collaboration in community education.
For his part the University of Botswana Vice Chancellor, Professor Norris said his institution has historically collaborated with Statistics Botswana in a number of areas, including training and provision of technical assistance during design, conduct and analysis of various national surveys and censuses.
“The signing of the MoU does not mark the initiation of collaboration between the two institutions, rather it marks a renewal, reinvigoration and refocusing of collaborative energies in ways that maximize mutual beneficiation between our two institutions", he said.
Professor Norris further said that the collaboration of both UB and SB is beneficial not only in terms of staff access and experience of research, but also in terms of enhancing quality of students training by offering real life experience of participating in the conduct of surveys and working with real life primary data.
Statistics Botswana continues to appeal to other sectors to enroll in the National Statistical System by way of signing MoUs. To date, SB has successfully enrolled other sectors, among them; Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research Science and Technology, ACHAP, NBFIRA, Namibia Statistics Agency, BURS and HRDC.
The Statistics Act of 2009 recognizes the National Statistical System (NSS) and Statistics Botswana’s role as coordinator of the NSS. Therefore the signing of MoUs is directed towards the need to work closely and collaboratively with other entities in the production of official statistics to enhance evidence-based decision making processes and planning across all sectors of the economy.