Minister blames insufficient statistics for slowed development
Posted Wednesday, January 23 2013 at 02:00
Data shortage. Uganda’s current population is unknown since the last census was conducted in 2002
Scarce statistics about Uganda is one of the reasons for the economy’s sluggish development.
The irregular frequency at which government ministries and other public institutions release data about their sectors shows that accessing government information in Uganda is still a major problem.
Much as the government has in the past years invested in statistics availability through funding bodies such as Uganda Bureau of Statistics (Ubos) and Bank of Uganda (BoU) little data isup to date.
The State Minister for Finance (Planning), Mr Matia Kasaija has attributed the country’s lack of sufficient statistics to limited funding and research capacity.
Speaking at a dialogue in Kampala over the weekend, Mr Kasaija acknowledged: “It is true we don’t have all the statistics we need to achieve faster development. This is because of lack of enough research capacity and funds to conduct all the surveys and research needed,” Mr Kasaija said.
Consequently, the country finds herself in a ‘data shortage situation’ with sectors such as Agriculture, Trade and Industries depending on outdated information, and in some cases nothing, while conducting sectoral forecasts.
For instance, even though Uganda’s fruit production and processing continues to pick up with more companies (small and big) joining the market, there has never been a fruit census on local production in about two decades.
Worse still, Uganda’s current population is unknown since the last census was conducted in 2002, with the next that was scheduled for 2012 expected in August of this year.
However, Mr Ben Paul Mungyereza, the executive director of Ubos, refuted the claim that Uganda lacks sufficient statistics, saying what is referred to as ‘lack of enough statistics’ is a global phenomenon that arises from the ever-changing population sizes and demands.
“I cannot say we don’t have enough data because worldwide, statistics are never enough. This is because peoples’ needs keep changing.
Each year, we generate quality statistics but more is being demanded. For your information, Uganda is considered as one of the countries with the best statistics practices,” he said.