849 (XL) Statistics and Statistical Capacity-Building in Africa


The Conference of Ministers,

          Noting with appreciation the recent endorsement by African Heads of National Statistical Offices (NSOs) and other stakeholders of the reference Regional Strategic Framework for statistical capacity-building in Africa (RRSF) as the guide for Statistical development activities on the continent upon recommendation by the Forum on African Statistical Development (FASDEV) held in February 2006 in Addis Ababa;

          Welcomingthe African initiative of establishing the African Symposia on Statistical Development (ASSD) as a platform for the exchange of best practices and recognizing the progress made by African countries towards ensuring that they conduct a population and housing census in the 2010 Round in this framework;

          Taking note of the lack of coordination in statistical activities in Africa as one of the serious impediments to the production of quality statistics needed to, inter alia, monitor and track progress towards achieving nationally, and internationally-agreed development targets including the MDGs;

          Deeply concerned about the inadequate funding for statistical operations and the slow progress in the implementation of international norms and standards namely the 1993 System of National Accounts, the principles and recommendations on populations and housing censuses and the urgent need to implement these international standards for statistical harmonization and comparability;

          Noting the implementation of the International Comparison Programme for Africa (ICP Africa) through which African countries have compiled purchasing power parities (PPPs) based on household consumption information under the leadership of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and other partners;

  1. Endorses the RRSF as the guide for statistical development on the continent and trust that it will increase the capability of African National Statistical Systems to produce quality and reliable statistics;

  2. Invites host countries of the next symposium with adequate backing of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the friends of ECA, and other African countries as well as partners to ensure its sustainability by financially supporting it and fully backing the recommendations of the 2007 ASSD;

  3. Requests ECA, in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC),to strengthen its coordination efforts in statistical development in Africa, jointly with the AfDB, and calls upon development partners to support statistical development efforts in Africa, including providing required financial resources;

  4. Further requeststhat the African Centre for statistics (ACS) should scale-up its assistance to African countries to strengthen their statistical capabilities for the production of quality statistics in compliance with international standards; and

  5. Recommendsthat the International Comparison Programme for Africa  should be continued and enhanced in order to facilitate international comparison, including monitoring and evaluation of the achievement of the MDGs and calls upon the AUC, AfDB and ECA to ensure its sustainability;