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Steytler on statistics’ reliability

Statistician General John Steytler sheds light on the reliability of data sourced by the statistics agency.

Statistician General John Steytler sheds light on the reliability of data sourced by the statistics agency.

In a bid to counter negative perceptions of African statistics in general and Namibian statistics in particular, Statistician General John Steytler this week defended the reliability of the Namibia Statistics Agency’s data output.
He said, “The NSA is tasked with producing and disseminating relevant, quality and timely statistics that are fit for purpose. This means that the statistics and the data collected and disseminated has real world applications for all of its stakeholders.
For example, the rebasing of the Annual National Accounts and Consumer Price Index are but two necessary exercises that the NSA has just completed to ensure that the data collected, analysed and published is as relevant, up to date and as usable and implementable as possible.”

As Namibia continues to develop and mature as a nation, it is vital that the developments on all fronts are measured. This goes the same for other African nations.
 As the article stated; “Africa can ill afford to pump out dodgy data from poorly funded statistics bureau…” and these are decisions based on incorrect data that leads to unsuccessful development he said.
Countering recent criticism of African data, Steytler said “Years of neglect, a lack of technical skills and informal economies make reliable data collection a huge task in African nations.
Namibia [is facing] this challenge head-on as [we] realise the importance of accurate statistics.”
“Namibia has tasked itself with rebasing its national accounts every five years. The rebasing of the National Accounts gives a clear picture of the status of Namibia’s economy.
 It clearly shows where the areas of improvement are and whether the nation is on the right track,” he added.
He said “revisions in the National Accounts are always necessary because certain data sources only become available more than a year after the end of the reference period. Therefore the national accounts estimates for the last two years are revised once or twice a year.”

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