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Annual Retreat for the EAC Statistics Development and Harmonisation Regional Project underway in Karatu, Tanzania

East African Community Headquarters, Arusha, Tanzania, 24th November, 2021: A five-day retreat of the staff of the EAC Statistics Development and Harmonization Regional Project (StatDHRP) is currently underway in Karatu, Tanzania. 

The objectives of the retreat is to review the progress on the Project implementation at technical level; discuss the current status on the EAC database development; prepare the Project work plan and budget for the Financial Year 2022/23 and hold consultations on the New Regional Statistics Project among others.

Speaking on behalf of the EAC Secretary General Hon. (Dr.) Peter Mathuki during the opening session of the retreat, the Deputy Secretary General in charge of planning and Infrastructure, Eng. Steven Mlote said that the retreat presents an opportunity to reflect on the achievements and challenges faced in the implementation of the Work plan for the Financial Year 2021/2022 which was developed in a similar retreat at this same venue one year ago. 

Eng. Mlote directed the project staff to be keen and realistic when preparing work plans and budget proposals, being aware of the challenges that affect the implementation of the project activities.  

“You should be cognizant of the current operating environment especially limited travels due to Covid19 pandemic that limit budget uptake so that you come up with a realistic work plan and budget” he advised.  

The EAC Official informed Mr. Rob Swinkels, the World Bank Representative who attended the retreat about the challenges faced by the Project during the implementation of the Project Development Objectives.  

“While the project has made significant progress towards the achievement of the Project Development Objectives (PDOs), it is behind schedule, largely due to the late recruitment of Project staff and limited activities conducted in 2020 due to Covid-19 outbreak. In addition, there is limited matching resources at the national level to implement the regional statistics compilation guidelines being prepared through the Project,” said Eng. Mlote. 

“We are happy to note that to bridge some of these challenges, the World Bank is developing a new regional statistics project, where the current project (EAC StatDHRP) will be folded in to the EAC component of the project; and at the same time expand the scope of the project to include additional statistical domains,” he clarified.

On his part, Mr Rob Swinkels, the Task Team Leader of StatDHRP who represented the World Bank Country representative thanked the EAC Secretariat and the StatDHRP staff for the good work done in the development of the guidelines towards the harmonization of the statistics in the Partner States.  

“We thank EAC for the commitment in the implementation of the StatDHRP. We hope this will solidify the partnership between EAC and the World Bank not only to harmonize data but also to make data accessible and appreciated by the world,” he said.  

Notes to Editors: 

The East African Monetary Union Protocol (EAMU) was signed in November 2013 and is under implementation. The EAMU Protocol, among others, requires the Partner States to develop and adopt common methods, concepts, definitions and classifications for compiling, analysing and disseminating the statistics necessary for the proper functioning of the Monetary Union, while observing internationally accepted best practices. To support implementation of this requirement, the EAC Secretariat secured a grant from the World Bank to implement a 5-year EAC Statistics Development and Harmonization Regional project (StatDHRP) for the period 2018 to 2023.

The objective of the project is to strengthen the capacity of the National Statistical Offices, together with other data producing agencies within the National Statistical System of the EAC Partner States to produce harmonized and quality statistics in support of the regional integration and development.  

The aim is to produce harmonized and quality statistics in support of the regional integration and development. The initial focus of the project is on specific priority areas namely National Accounts, Monetary and Financial Statistics including Financial Soundness Indicators, External Sector Statistics, Government Finance Statistics, Consumer Price Indices, Agriculture, Food & Nutrition Statistics, Poverty Statistics, and Communications and Advocacy. 

Tags: EAC/StatDHRP

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