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Secretary-General Sindiso Ngwenya has called on Statistical technocrats from various Central Statistical Offices, Central Banks and Sector ministries in the region to form a regional Statistical network to enhance knowledge sharing and information exchange if meaningful regional integration is to be attained.
Mr Ngwenya was speaking when he officially opened the seventh meeting of the COMESA Committee on Statistical matters at Pamodzi Hotel in Lusaka, Zambia on 22nd August 2016.
He said the formation of a regional network for the statisticians will greatly help them through the timely exchange of vital information. To improve the flow of information, COMESA has developed a Statistics Strategy. The strategy aims at providing an overarching framework for how statistical development will be undertaken in the region.
He urged member States to provide adequate funding for statistical programmes in the region.
Mr Ngwenya encouraged member States to use their data portals as the primary vehicle for data dissemination whilst limiting paper based statistical reports. The adoption of the open data platforms also enhances efficiency leading to less staff time allocated to the dissemination process.
Integration of business surveys by ensuring a robust business register is another innovation countries can explore. He advised countries to have a proactive approach and trust that they explore the possibilities of financing statistical programmes under the 7th call of the COMESA Adjustment Facility.