Lusaka, Zambia, 23 October 2019 (ECA) - The Zambian government is undertaking statistical reforms to address deficits in statistical thinking and data needed to spur and sustain economic growth.
The statement was made today by the Ministry of National Development Planning and Administration Permanent Secretary Chola Chabala at the official opening of a training workshop on “Strengthening Capacities of African Governments for Integrating Accountability in Development Planning” at Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
The Permanent Secretary said addressing deficits in statistics is a priority as this will also help enhance the country's ability to integrate accountability in its development planning.
He said that the country has been operating under an inadequate statistics legal framework, which over the years was affected by dynamic and evolving data ecosystems.
Mr Chabala stressed that the Government is also undertaking a mid-term review of the Seventh National Development Plan (7NDP) that runs from 2017 to 2021. “It is imperative that the Government formulates policies that are evidence-based anchored on reliable and accurate statistics.
“Effective development planning will result in sustained economic growth and transformation of the Zambian economy at large”, Chabala emphasised. He further thanked ECA for the continued support rendered to the Zambian government and hoped that the collaborations and partnership will continue going forward.
He urged all participants to internalize, reflect insightfully and utilize the skills effectively that they will gain from the training workshop.
Zambia started implementing the 10th Tranche project in 2017, whose first phase involved technical studies to evaluate and assess the status of planning and statistics in Zambia.
For his part, Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Principal Regional Advisor on Development Planning, Macroeconomic and Governance Division, Sylvain Boko said that States that decide to put into practice an approach to policy-making which is inclusive and is based on good governance, are likely to earn the legitimacy needed to mobilize all stakeholders around a nationally owned development agenda.
“However, very often, one of the challenges faced by Governments concerns how to measure progress concerning achieving their national development goals, how to monitor and evaluate those achievements, to render account to the population, in a regular, accessible and predictable manner," Mr. Boko emphasised.
Boko stressed that effectiveness of national planning systems hinges largely upon the availability of quality and relevant data, including essential statistics related to important developmental benchmarks such as economic growth, poverty, taxes, trade, births, deaths, etc… which, in the end, remain fundamental to the design and implementation of development planning processes that are economically transformative and sustainable.
"The training was organized in response to some of the capacity development needs expressed by Zambian stakeholders throughout this process. Our expectation at the end of this project is that Zambia, as one of only five pilot countries, will be able to contribute to elevating and strengthening accountability in African countries through showcasing its own national best practices” said Boko.
The ECA and Ministry of National Development Planning co-organised the training session on “Strengthening the Capacities of African Governments for Integrating Accountability in Development Planning” which will run from 22 October – 01 November 2019 at the Mulungushi International Conference Centre in Lusaka.
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