The Minister for Finance, Mr Emmanuel Seth Terkper, has described statistics as key to good planning, good policy formulation, good decision-making and national development.
Mr Terkper, who was speaking at the commemoration of African Statistical Day in Accra, yesterday, therefore, gave the assurance that government would continue to devote adequate resources for statistical activities with the aim of strengthening the production of social, demographic and economic statistics for effective planning and policy formulation.
The Finance Minister commended the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) for effectively discharging its mandate as an independent statistical institution that served as the major source of statistical information for government in running the affairs of the country, the business community for operational and transactional processes and for the academic world for their scientific work.
He expressed the hope that with the use of technology in statistics, government would be able to monitor all activities of businesses in the country as well as prepare a good policy document for implementation.
In an address, the Deputy Government Statistician, Mr. Baah Wadieh, noted that most African countries relied on traditional methods of data collection which, he said, was not only costly and time consuming, but, also, prone to error.
Mr Wadieh, therefore, underscored the importance of new technologies in strengthening national statistical systems and enabling the development of informed policies, while allowing decision makers to take better evidence-based decisions that positively impacted people’s welfare.
He said the timely delivery of high-quality data was one of the major challenges facing statistical development in Africa and urged national statistical systems to take advantage of modern technology to improve the production and dissemination of timely and high-quality data.
Mr. Wadieh acknowledged the continuous support of their data suppliers including households, institutions and establishments whose collaboration is vital to the development and success of any statistical system.
The Interim President of Ghana Statistical Association, Rector of Kumasi Polytechnic and Chairman for the event, Professor Nicholas Nsowah-Nuamah, in his remarks, said the African Statistical Day celebration was a perfect opportunity for African Statisticians to reflect on their contributions to the development of statistics.
He was hopeful that the celebration would provide an opportunity to advocate for major statistical operations, including censuses and surveys.
This year’s African Statistical Day was celebrated on the theme: “Better Data for better Lives: Harnessing Modern Technology to Enhance National Statistical System”.
Source: ISD (Chantal Aidoo & Linda Okyere)