The 14th African Statistics day was celebrated on the 18th of Nov 14 at the Kenyatta International Conference Center in classic celebratory fashion complete with Kenyan traditional dancers, choir and marching band all present to honor the great strides Kenya and in deed the continent has made in the collection and disseminations of valuable statistical, economic and social indicators over the last decade.
Locally organized by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS) under the Ministry of Devolution and Planning and with partners from organizations including the United Nations Population Fund and ICT Authority. The Ministry through the Cabinet Secretary, Anne Waiguru (Order of the Grand Warrior) noted “the important role played by statistics in all aspects of Social and economic development…advocating for// systematic and increased use of statistics for evidence -based decision making … in order to mainstream statistics in to the national and county development plans.”
This years theme championed, “Open data for accountability and inclusiveness,” which is in deed meant to promote efficiency, transparency, accountability, inclusiveness in governance and development. KNBS Board chair Prof. Terry Ryan, further noted that the aim of the celebration was to also facilitate economic growth through increase accessibility and usage of data by decision makers, researchers and the public at large. On their part KNBS made several announcements including plans to improve the quality of statistics collected under the national statistical system (NSS) as well as a review of the Statistics act of 2006, development of the National strategy for the development of Statistics (NSDS) and the Strategic plan for agriculture and rural statistics (SPARS).
The Open Data theme for the celebration couldn’t have come at a better time for the KODI team. The event brought together a number of stakeholders and data supplies to an environment that recognized the need to transition from isolated data warehouses and resellers to a more collaborative and open forum that recognizes the bigger impact data can have once its made open. The Project coordinator Linet Kwamboka noted, “our governments need to invest a lot more in statistics so that then we can start to utilize data as a citizens need and not just as a line activity in donor funds”. The CS echoed this trend, indicating that a key foundation to enabling citizen engagement was to Open up government data and information through new technologies and use of online portals such as the Kenya National Data Archive (KeNADA) and the Kenya Open data portal. The portals invite the public, Private and Public institutions to transform the data and information into useful tools and applications, specifically promoting better partnerships and creative innovations that address the challenges faced by citizen. The celebrations indeed promoted increased access to data that is freely used, re-used and redistributed by anyone.
Taking the opportunity to celebrate their achievements KNBS also launched the 2nd publication of the Foreign Investment Survey 2013. This single report is the most complete account capturing foreign capital flows and stocks data to improve the quality of the nations balance of payments and international investment position.