26 November 2012

Zimbabwe: 'Zim a Global Leader in Official Stats'

Zimbabwe still remains a global leader in the production of official statistics despite challenges bedeviling the country, officials at the United Nations have said. Speaking during the belated commemoration of African Statistics Day, on behalf of the United Nations Country team, over the weekend, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Assistant Representative, Ms Abigail Msemburi hailed the government for its consistency.

"Government of Zimbabwe through the Zimbabwe National Statistical Agency has played a critical role in promoting data collection, analysis and utilization.

"There is no doubt that Zimbabwe is one of the best countries in Africa and even beyond in producing official statistics," he said.

She called on staticians to recognise the importance of producing gender-disaggregated data and to encourage the proper use of gathered data.

"The availability of information in any form, quality or frequency does not guarantee data utilisation.

"The ultimate success of any information system should also be measured by informed decisions, which lead, to action and positive change in the system rather than the quantity or quality of data produced," she said.

Acting Permanent Secretary for Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Mrs Caroline Matizha said the presence of gender statistics was imperative in facilitating changes needed to address gender issues.

"Gender statistics are the basis for analysis to assess differences in the situations of women and men and how their conditions are changing or not. Such statistics are also needed to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of policy development," she said.

Mrs Matizha said the achievement of gender disaggregated data was crucial in the realisation of the millennium development goals.

Goal three of the millennium development goals explicitly calls for gender equality and the empowerment of women, with the associated indicators relating to education, employment and decision making.

African Statistics Day is celebrated on the 18th of November each year and this year's theme is running under the theme 'Making every woman and man count: Engendering statistics for better development outcomes.'

This year's celebrations coincided with the launch of the ZIMDAT 2012, a database of nationally chosen socially relevant indicators.

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