What types of Statistics are produced by the NSA?
- Income and Expenditure Survey
- Consumer Price Indexes
- Quarterly Gross Domestic Products
- Annual National Accounts
- Tourism Satellite Accounts
- Transport and Logistics Satellite Account
- Census undertakings
When was the Namibia Statistics Agency established and what is the core purpose of the Agency?
The Statistics Act, 2011 (No. 9 of 2011) provides the mandate and institutional framework for developing and building a strong Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA) for the production and dissemination of Namibian Official Statistics. The NSA was officially established in 2012.
Under the Statistics Act, the NSA is the central statistical authority and the central repository for all statistics produced in Namibia. It, inter alia, collects and disseminates statistics and spatial data, educates the public on the use of statistics and spatial data, and designates statistics as official statistics.
Another key mandate of the NSA is to coordinate the National Statistics System (NSS). The NSS comprises statistics producers, respondents, users of statistics, research institutions, and training institutions and their interrelations, inter alia, in compilation, dissemination and use of statistics, research and development of statistical methods and techniques, and the training of statisticians.
Statistical capacity and operations in Namibia were assessed in recent years to be below the average for all countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and for most years it is about the same or just below the average for all countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
Namibian statistical capacity and operations are also assessed to be lower compared with other countries with similar levels of national income. Overall the NSA and NSS face some serious weaknesses and threats and compare less than favorably with comparable countries.
Why are statistics Important?
With the passing of the Statistics Act, 2011 (No. 9 of 2011) and the establishment of the Namibia Statistics Agency (NSA), Namibia entered a new era of opportunity for statistical development.
A solid legislative and institutional foundation is now in place to enable the building of a strong and sustainable National Statistics System (NSS) for Namibia which supports the attainment of goals set out in the Namibian Government’s Vision 2030 and Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4), as well as the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The strategic intent of the NSA in the current Strategic Plan for 2012/13–2016/17 is to increase and improve the use of statistics in Namibia so as to achieve their potential in contributing towards;
improving evidence-based Government policymaking, planning, monitoring, and evaluation to address national, Regional Council, Local Authority, and municipal socio-economic priorities meeting the more sophisticated and complex decision-making needs of the business community, and deepening and expanding the knowledge of society at large in order to support public discourse, and in so doing allow communities to become better informed; understand the economic and social dynamics of the nation more fully; make informed social, economic and political choices; and participate actively and productively in all aspects of society.
What is a geographic portal or shortened to “geoportal”?
The NSA is coordinating the development of the national spatial data infrastructure (NSDI) for Namibia as mandated by the Statistics Act, No. 9 of 2011. This is an institutional and technical framework for organizations and technologies to interact to foster more efficient use, management, and production of geographic, or spatial, data. Spatial data is location information generally mapped and presented in maps.
The Geographic portal is developed in terms of Section 47(3) of the Statistics Act as a type of web portal for accessing, viewing, and analyzing geographically referenced or locational data and information on the Internet. In the case of Namibia, this is a critical component of the Namibia Spatial Data Infrastructure adding to the many online government services in the country.
What is the aim of the geoportal?
The main aim is to facilitate public and nationwide accessibility to government information produced and held by different government bodies, both locational and statistics.
Why is the national geographic portal important to Namibia?
Almost 80% of government activities happen somewhere within the boundary of the country. These activities can be environmental-related or socio-economic development of the country. The national geoportal will enable the public to see and evaluate government investment in its people e.g. how is the placement of schools or health facilities versus the location of the people. In other words, the geoportal will enable the public to evaluate the characteristics of any location in the country in their different interests.
Secondly, for national security and heritage, we need to safeguard our territorial integrity. The portal encourages institutions to accurately document and quantifies our human and physical resources of our country. Our heritage includes our national boundary and natural resources which all need to be safeguarded.
What economic benefits does the portal brings to the country?
There are many benefits not only economic that the portal brings to Namibia. There are environmental, social, and economic benefits we can derive from the system. Examples:
An investor who would want to invest in crop farming and would like to set up an irrigation scheme will need bio-physical information about the distribution of different types of soils, availability of water, access to roads, markets, extension services, etc. The portal allows this information to be readily available as it pulls data from different offices and ministries. This saves time of search and mining for information in different places.
There is an increasing demand for highly disaggregated data in evidence-based planning globally. We have now new concepts like big data and data revolution. All these concepts will define our future. The portal pulls on some data layers both location and statistics of an area. For example, you will be able to know at the school level the location and number of learners, teachers, and sex ratio in a particular year say 2017.
At the moment most of our national statistics are aggregated at a regional level. Therefore it only assists us in seeing the bigger picture. The geographic portal tries to integrate statistics with a location at the micro level for more detailed spatial planning. As such the portal brings the aspect of dealing with a spatial problem at a smaller scale.
Who are the users of the geoportal?
The portal system is developed in such a way that it accommodates both novice and advanced users. All people who have access to internet whether on their mobile devices or office PCs can access and use the portal. The uses can range from daily personal use to more complex spatial planning in government.
What are the functionalities that the portal has?
There many functions of the portal system. Some of these include:
- Searching metadata of geographic data held by different government bodies
- Downloading data in different formats
- Viewing and create online maps of their area of interest e.g. crop field.
- Sharing maps and generate reports of an area of interest.
- Government agencies that signed the NSDI partnership agreement with the NSA can create and publish metadata of their datasets online.