HUYE–As part of preparations to mark the African Statistics Day, the National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) has begun a campaign to highlight the importance of statistics in national development planning.
The campaign, dubbed ‘Statistics Week’, was launched on Monday to run until Friday when the celebrations to mark the day will be held.
According to Yussuf Murangwa, the Acting Director General of the NISR, the campaign aims at creating awareness on the role of statistics in socio-economic planning.
“Part of the activities organised for the week are discussions which will turn around the role of statistical data in development planning and the way people can get involved in creating and using statistics in their activities,” Murangwa said.
On Monday, officials from NISR met with students and lecturers from universities and higher institutions of learning offering statistical-based courses.
They held discussions and presentations which centred on the role of statistics in the life of a country.
Murangwa noted that NISR seeks to establish a partnership with universities and higher institutions of learning as a way of improving people’s perceptions towards the use of statistics in planning.
Prof Geoffrey Rugege, the Executive Director of the Higher Education Council, expounded on the need to train many statisticians to enhance the use of statistical data in the planning process.
“We still face a lack of sufficient qualified statisticians to teach students in our universities. But we are looking into ways of developing various masters’ programmes in this exact field because it is very important in the development of our country,” he said.
“Any leader wishing to develop a policy in education, health or finance should base on tangible statistical data”.
Christine Mukayuhi, a statistics student at the National University of Rwanda, told The New Times that students should be active in mobilising the community on the role of statistics in planning.
“A plan based on statistical data succeeds because everything is planned for in advance and takes place in the desired time, resulting into the realisation of one’s objectives”, Mukayuhi observed.
“We must approach members of the community and explain to them how statistics can change their lives”.
The African Statistics Day is celebrated on November 18 every year to raise awareness about the role of statistics in all aspects of social and economic development.
This year, the day will be celebrated under the theme, “Keeping Accounts to Improve Africa’s Present for a Brighter Future”.