Posted by: africanpressorganization | 19 November 2012

Statement by Nakaha Stanislas [Amb], Head of Office, AU Liaison Office in South Sudan On the Occasion of the Celebration of the Africa Statistics Day


 

 

Statement by Nakaha Stanislas [Amb], Head of Office, AU Liaison Office in South Sudan On the Occasion of the Celebration of the Africa Statistics Day

 

JUBA, South Sudan, November 19, 2012/African Press Organization (APO)/ Statement by Nakaha Stanislas (Amb)

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

The African Union Liaison Office in South Sudan is honoured for the invitation to this august commemoration of the Africa Statistics Day. The Africa Statistics Day was initiated in 1990 by the Joint African Conference of Planners, Statisticians, and Demographers, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The day is celebrated each year in order to increase awareness about the important role that statistics plays in all aspects of social and economic development in Africa.

I am delighted to be part of this important event given its potential significance to the emerging strong bonds between the African Union and its newest member, South Sudan. Today’s event is a valuable addition to the growing list of collaborations that we are already nurturing with the Government.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just as an illustration of the importance of statistics, I want to take the example of the recently signed Cooperation Agreement between South Sudan and Sudan, under the facilitation of the AU, through the AUHIP. The 9 nine groundbreaking agreements could not have been signed if the Parties did not have exact data on oil production, fees and charges that you have been hearing about, the demographics of nationals of both States in the other, the physical characteristics of the border to be demarcated, the numbers related to the economy, including central banking operations, trade and trade-related matters, the number and value of assets and liabilities to be apportioned, the figures related to pensions and other post-service benefits, and even some aspects of the numbers to resolve the complex issue of security.

Excellencis, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is therefore easy to recognise the crucial role that the National Bureau of Statistics could have played to assist the AU and the negotiators as they foraged for statistics to in order to have the same understanding of the issues at stake and to facilitate the negotiations. However, today’s event is not about in-depth discussions of this nature, as we now have the agreements. We want to bring immediate awareness of the importance the National Bureau of Statistics in the development processes of this country; which is where I want to direct this address: How can the African Union assist South Sudan to expand capacities in Statistics and create this awareness?

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to inform that the African Union Commission has an entire Division dedicated to developing strategies for the harmonization of statistics of its Member States, which South Sudan is one. The Division helps to build the institutional capacity of the Member States’ statistical capacities and promotes compliance with the fundamental principles of public statistics, especially the culture of evidence-based policymaking. It provides reliable economic and social data that serves the quality of national planning across the continent. This Division also focuses on the implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of continental integration programmes. The key word here is that we are all living in a more and more globalized World. We not only need national data to plan for our future, but we also need those of our neighbours as well as those of the Continent and of the World, with a view to preparing ourselves for a successful integration. If we do not do that, we will be left on the side of the road.

 

 

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I also wish to raise the issue of accession to the African Charter on Statistics. It was developed by the statistical organizations of African States. The draft was validated by the Committee of Directors-General of National Statistical Offices in June 2007 and reviewed by the African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in April 2008. It was thereafter passed by the African Ministers of Justice and Attorneys-General, and finally endorsed by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU in February 2009. It has since been open for signature and ratification. Through the charter, South Sudan can be helped to improve the quality and comparability of its statistics and statistical systems, strengthen coordination of statistical activities, and facilitate the harmonization of development partners’ intervention so as to avoid duplication in the implementation of statistical programmes.

I would like to invite South Sudan to sign and ratify this Charter, as it was not signed, nor ratified by Sudan as of the date of the independence of South Sudan. I also wish to take this opportunity to reiterate the AU’s request to the Government of South Sudan to state its stand on the AU’s instruments signed and ratified by Sudan before the independence, and consider the signature and the ratification of those that Sudan did not sign before the independence of South Sudan.

Excellency,

Another important consideration that I would like to draw your attention to is the current non-inclusion of data on South Sudan in the African Statistical Yearbook. The yearbook serves to provide, within a single volume, reference indices on African Member States for policymakers, planners, partners, donors, and researchers on all aspects of development. It is a helpful document for feeding into appropriate continental and global databases for development. I believe that a closer linkage between the National Bureau of Statistics and the AU Economic Affairs Department would open the door to this necessary inclusion.

 

Excellency,

As we know from the demography of Africa, nowhere in the world is the condition of women more dire than in our continent. Yet women outnumber men in most of our countries. The women continue to contribute more to households’ revenue than men, especially in the rural areas where they constitute the leading working force. Our institutions need more women, so are our schools. In South Sudan, this situation is even more desired as the Country is just 17 months old. Many African Countries started late in the engendering process and South Sudan should not repeat the errors done on our Continent. Please do it now at the start up phase, because the reality of the matter is that failing to plan with the full involvement of the women amounts to planning to fail.

Excellency,

Let me conclude by re-stating the centrality of statistics and the crucial role that the National Bureau of Statistics can play. As your Country is starting almost from ground zero, South Sudan’s planners, and ultimately its leaders, need to have a comprehensive picture of where the Country is starting from, the stark realities of the development baseline data, and the sum of its assets and liabilities. Knowing exactly where the Country stands, especially at this crucial time of the launch its development, within the light of hard facts and figures, no matter how daunting they may look, will allow you to decide and to plan where you want to be in the short, medium and long term. Proceeding otherwise could amount to forgetting that haste is one thing and speed is altogether another. In the worst case scenario, it could turn out to be putting the cart before the horse. The National Bureau of Statistics will help South Sudan’s decision makers avoid such embarrassment. I wish the National Bureau of Statistics a safe journey, with gender equity and equality fully on board..

Thank you,

May God bless you all.

 

SOURCE 

African Union High Level Implementation Panel (AUHIP)


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