The National Institute of Statistics of Rwanda (NISR) and other members of the National Statistical System (NSS) celebrated the African Statistics Day on the 18th November 2016, under the theme “Data revolution; strengthening statistics for regional integration, structural transformation and sustainable development”.

In his remarks, Yusuf Murangwa, the Director General of NISR recalled the importance of statistics in developing the economy of a country and that the National Statistical system (NSS) should intensively use ICT to improve the production, dissemination and accessibility of statistics. “As we celebrate this day, we strive to build statistical information to be used in addressing challenges that we are facing today. Considering today’s theme, it is apparent that the world is evolving fast in terms of innovations and technology; we are therefore supposed to be working hard to keep ahead and support the government with accurate data  that will facilitate in making quick decisions,” he said.

Dr. Monique NSANZABAGANWA, the chairperson of NISR board of Directors, emphasized that public and private institutions as well as civil society should benefit from the advantages of the current state of ICT in Rwanda to enhance the development of the statistical system of Rwanda.

The celebration was also marked for the second time since 2015 by the “Reading data with children”, an event organized on 17 November 2016 by NISR in collaboration with UNICEF. It aims at building statistical literacy among children aged 12-17 years.

In his remarks, Mr. Mr. Ted Maly, the Country Representative of UNICEF Rwanda said that this annual event is a good opportunity to link data and child rights discussion to the country’s aspiration towards new development goals – the SDGs and Vision 2020. “Successful advocacy heavily relies on how data and information collected is communicated, presented and shared with a broader target audience including the country’s aspired generation – children and adolescents. Through active partnership with children, we can convey the importance of statistics to their parents, brothers, sisters and the community as a whole.” He added.

During the event, graduates from 15 higher learning institutions who participated in NISR infographics competition were awarded. The competition aimed at strengthening statistical literacy and promoting the use of data visualization for statistical dissemination.

The winner was the Visual communicator’s team from University of Rwanda, College of Business and Economics, The first runner up was the L’Info team from University of Rwanda, College of Science and Technology while the second runner up was the Vision outliers from Carnegy Melon University, Kigali.

The African Statistics Day was adopted in May 1990 by the Sixteenth Meeting of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa Conference of African Ministers responsible for Planning and Economic Development, to be celebrated each year in order to increase public awareness about the important role which statistics play in all aspects of social and economic life of our countries. It is also an occasion to strengthen engagement with private sector towards the development of statistics in Rwanda. 

By: Jean Claude Nyirimanzi