Dignitaries at the launch
The Ghana Statistical Service (GSS), in collaboration with World Bank, yesterday launched a $40 million Statistics Development Project dubbed, the Ghana Statistics Development Project (GSDP) in Accra.
The GSDP aims to improve the production and output of timely and complex statistics relevant for evidence-based decision and policy-making.
Dr. Osei Boeh-Ocansey, Board Chairman of GSS, emphasized the importance of statistics on a variety of levels during his keynote address at the programme.
‘Statistics help governments become transparent and accountable. For individuals and businesses, statistics enable improved and informed decision-making. Internationally, statistics allow for comparisons with other countries for effective policy decisions and monitoring and evaluating international agreements and initiatives,’ Boeh-Ocansey said.
Dr. Philomena Nyarko, the Government Statistician, thanked the two sources that granted funding for the project.
The Statistics for Results Facility-Catalytic Fund, which was set up by the British and Dutch governments to sustain improvements in quality statistics in developing countries, granted $10 million and the International Development Association (IDA) granted $30 million.
The GSDP will be implemented by 10 Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), and according to Kwesi Armo-Himbson, Chief Director of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, the programme comprises four main components: institutional reform and organizational change, enhancing statistical capacity, date production and dissemination and project management/evaluation.
Michael Ayesu, Director of the Ministry of Finance, who officially launched the project, emphasized the urgency of this project for Ghana.
‘We are looking up to the GSS and the other implementing MDAs to effectively and efficiently manage the fundswe cannot afford to fail. We need the statistics. Better statistics for better developmental outcomes,’ said Mr. Ayesu.
Meanwhile, the World Bank recommended to the Statistical Service to coordinate and work with the various partners to ensure that the project is sustained.
The Bank also recommended that the Ministry of Finance make adequate budgetary allocations to the project so that in five years when the project comes to end, it could be renewed.
The project is important because Ghana has moved to a middle-income country and it is necessary to gather data that can be used to measure the level of progress as a nation, Yusupha B. Crookes, Country Director of World Bank said.
Speaking in an interview with BUSINESS GUIDE, Senior Public Sector Specialist of World Bank, Smile Dem Kwawukume, indicated that ‘GSS is constrained not only in terms of human resource power but they lack funding to ensure the smooth functioning of their projects.’
By Azia Calderhead & Melvin Tarlue
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