NSA Statistician-General Dr John Steytler boasted at the launch that the new data processing centre is one of the biggest data capturing points in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Region, with a storage capacity of 100 terabytes.
At this stage, the NSA only makes use of about 40 terabytes to store data and information. Since 1990, the agency only made use of two terabytes for all statistics issued in Namibia.
“We are comfortably in the league of the SADC Region. This centre will go a long way in addressing the criteria of relevant, timely and quality statistics,” he noted.
According to Steytler, the centre is home to state-of-the-art equipment that has a scan data capacity to capture 200 forms per day.
The N.dollars 70 million equipment, donated by the German government, also has fingerprint and facial recognition facilities.
Meanwhile, at the same occasion, Director-General of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Tom Alweendo emphasised the urgent need for such a centre that would speed up economic development in Namibia.
Alweendo commended Steytler and his team for providing representative findings in such a short time about the current state and development of amongst others, the population, economy, education, and environment.
He said data and statistics can enable a more complete picture about specific areas of interest due to its availability of a greater breadth of data for analysis.
With the centre up and running, the Labour Force Survey will also be done annually and not just every four years, according to Alweendo.
“Statistics are so important as it helps us as a nation to plan for the development of the people and country,” he stated.
Speaking at the same occasion, the German Ambassador Onno Huckmann said data sharing is an important ingredient for supporting evidence-based policy and decision-making.
“The centre will contribute to its objective by providing relevant and timely information,” he stressed.
According to Huckmann public, private and civil society organisations are increasingly interested in sharing data, between and across all levels of society to realise its full potential and build a comprehensive and coherent statistical picture of the economy, society and the environment.
The centre, which is situated in Bloekom Street in Suiderhof in the capital, was completed in four months.
It will facilitate the capture, management, maintenance, integration, distribution and use of spatial data to develop and co-ordinate national statistics.