Nation with reliable statistical base develops faster – Lecturer

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Ho, Nov. 25, GNA – A nation with a reliable statistical base develops faster than others, Dr Louis Munyakasi, Head of Mathematics and Statistics Department of Kumasi Polytechnic has stated. He said in that fast developing country, development programmes and implementation modules were often evidence-based. Dr Munyakasi was speaking at the 2012 Celebration of African Statistics Day held in Ho on Saturday.

It was organized by the Ghana Association of Statistics Students, whose membership is mainly statistics students in polytechnics across the country on the theme, “Making Every Woman and Man Count: Engendering Statistics for Better Development Outcomes”. Dr Munyakasi mentioned Japan as an example where data on every aspect of development was so reliable to make policy programming and interventions fluid. He said statisticians were in fact the “voice of the voiceless,” who normally would not come out to state their circumstances. “You collect that data that speaks for them to be put correctly in development programming,” Dr Munyakasi added.

He regretted the low numbers of people wanting to pursue careers such as statisticians, saying perhaps teaching methods and historical references were scaring people, especially women, from mathematics and statistics. Mrs Augusta Ocantey, Volta Regional Director of Statistical Services Department, said Africa should improve gender-disaggregation in their reporting to make planning more responsive to the needs of the different segments of society. Mr Michael Nelson, President of Ghana Association of Statistics Students’ Alumini (GASSA) said “statistics must not be seen as an isolated field at all, as it cut across traditional fields such as economics, agriculture, health and employment”.

On account of the low numbers offering statistics in schools, he called on students of Junior and Senior High Schools to take mathematics-related subjects with great interest to enable them to study statistics as programmes at the tertiary level. The Day was initiated in 1990 by the Subsidiary Body of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa and the Joint African Conference of Planners, Statisticians and Demographers to be celebrated every November 18 to highlight the role of statistics in social and economic development.

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