The Kenya National Bureau of Statistics is joining other statistical agencies in African to celebrate the African Statistics Day. This day is celebrated each year in Africa on 18th November to raise public awareness of the importance of statistics in all aspects of social and economic life. The theme of the Day this year “High-quality official statistics to ensure transparency, good governance and inclusive development” highlights the value of official statistics in addressing transparency, good governance and inclusive development.
Availability and appropriate use of good economic statistics can translate into better lives for people through providing evidence as a base for policy and decision-making by the nation or by firms, households, and citizens. Statistics provide information for monitoring, evaluation, and reporting of the progress in meeting the goals and targets of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), as well as a basis for effective economic governance to promote the welfare of a nation.
The importance of statistics in understanding and using economic information for planning and policy design cannot be overstressed. All key macroeconomic variables (national accounts, savings and investment, employment interest rates, inflation) and microeconomic (poverty, inequality, social outcome indicators, etc.) are based on statistics. For example, national accounts that measure the overall size and strength of the economy, as well as trends in production, consumption, investment, and savings amongst other variables or indicators. Income and wealth of the economy are the bases of the well-being of the individuals and households. When the economy is strong, there will be more opportunities for jobs and employment. Increased employment will elevate more people out of poverty and increase productivity as well.
Government provides public goods and services to citizens and intervene and influence the economy through fiscal policy. Government finance statistics show the amount and sources of government financial resources and how these resources are spent. A positive impact from public finance (revenues and spending) on the economy can return high growth in the economy, which brings in more tax revenues. Good government financial statistics help improve the transparency and good governance of the economy, and thus better the well-being of the people.
African Statistics Day was initiated in 1990 by the Joint African Conference of Planners, Statisticians and Demographers, which is a subsidiary body of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).