Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS) on Wednesday convened a day’s validation
forum on the Draft Statistics Act of 2019 at a hotel in Senegambia.
The act is a legal instrument designed to organise statistical activities and provide a sustainable, coordinated, effective and efficient national statistical system for The Gambia for use in the collection, production, storage, and dissemination of integrated, relevant, reliable, and timely statistical data.
At the validation forum, Nyakassi Sanyang, Secretary General of GBoS, said the 2019 Draft Statistic Act has undergone numerous processes; the first draft being produced by his former resident adviser, Mr. Philippe Ngango Gafishi, after which it was shared with GBoS senior management and later with staff of GBoS, then to the members of the National Statistics Council for review.
As producers and users of statistics, Sanyang reminded all that the production and dissemination of high quality statistics is critical for evidence based-policy, planning, monitoring and evaluating of development outcomes.
“The National Statistical System of The Gambia has achieved important milestones in improving data production and that the frequency, quality and sustainability need to be strengthened. Key statistical projects were completed by the NSS to improve data availability and upgrading to international standards” he added.
Sanyang indicated that some of the key statistical operations are not conducted regularly and sustainable frequency or should have been conducted on a more frequent basis, emphasising for quality data production and analysis.
“Most sectors in the NSS lack comprehensive mass reliable administrative data due to weak or absence of proper management information system”.
EU representative, Jossielin Amacfi said The Gambia has important data gaps and the most affected areas are monetary and financial data balance of payments and external debt statistics.
He maintained that as part of the budget support programs the EU supports this approach by providing technical assistance to the National System of Statistics.
“Furthermore, a total budget of 2.5 MEUR is available for the implementation of the project that is equivalent to 140M GMD”.
EU diplomat further stated that a short legal expert was appointed to review and update the legal framework, saying the EU also contributes to the review and reform of the statistical strategy.
“It provided training for journalists, civil society organisations, private sectors and government officials to increase awareness about official statistics. Members of the parliament and political leaders at national and local levels are also going to receive training on statistics” he added.
UNDP representative Abdoulie Janneh said UNDP in The Gambia has developed a long standing and fruitful partnership with GBoS since its creation.
He added; “It has supported the production of the national strategy for the development of statistics to capacity building amongst others. Also, it provides and identifies those who need their development intervention”.