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Access to information is the cornerstone to our democracy’ – Tom Alweendo

‘Access to information enables the wider public and the civil society bodies to hold those to power to account and inform public debate around issues on good governance and transparency’, the Minister of Economic planning, Tom Alweendo says.

Represented by the Statistician General at the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), Alex Shimuafeni at launch of the Economic Association of Namibia (EAN) online document repository on the 5th February 2018 at the House of Democracy, the minister said access to reliable statistical information is essential for socio-economic development planning and policy formulation.

“Receiving accessible statistical information are a crucial prerequisite for evidence-based planning and policy formulation at both local and national levels. The effectiveness of our socio-economic development planning process centers to a great extent on the quality and availability of accurate, consistent and timely statistical information”, he stated.

 

However, having access to statistical information does not always guarantee sound policy decisions. H.E. Christian Matthias Schlaga, the German Ambassador present at the launch echoed this sentiments during his address. “We can collect data as much as we want, we can have it all correct. We can be as exhaustive as we can think of, but it can fail the objective for which it has been put into place. But even if it is used, of course it is not a guarantee that we will get sound policy decisions,” he said.

The EAN online repository will be a one stop shop for documents related to the Namibian Economy. The online repository so far has 1800 documents which includes statistics, national development plans and policies, reports, briefing papers, policy briefs and research papers and is accessible to every Namibian citizen.

“By consolidating and indexing statistical information, articles and research papers on the Namibian economy, the EAN’s document repository will unlock the body of knowledge about the Namibian Economy that to a great extent is not easily found in a single location ensuring that millions of Namibians have easy access to this broad range of information”, the minister further stated.

There is an urgent need to continuously collect and share relevant statistics. Therefore, the minister urged all statistical stakeholders involved in the production and distribution of statistical data to share relevant statistical data as it will support service delivery, good governance, public safety and enhance environmental resilience.

The initiative was supported by the Government of the Republic of Germany through GIZ. The online repository is accessible to the public at https://www.ean.org.na:8080/xmlui/.

All institutions and individuals are invited to submit reports, articles and statistics in their possession for inclusion in the directory.

Article by: Cathy Amutenya

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