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Considering the challenges lying ahead, AFRISTAT should step up its action to better support Member States in their effort to improve the working conditions of their national statistical systems in terms of methodology and organisation of production to respond, in a timely and sustainable manner, to data and statistical report requirements and pre-empt the statistical needs of public and private users.

The vision of AFRISTAT is to entrench statistics into the daily life of Member States as an instrument for economic integration and an indispensable tool that is available to the general public, political leaders, policymakers, private sector and civil society for the formulation, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of programmes and projects.

To achieve this vision in the next ten years, AFRISTAT should come across as an organisation that enjoys the confidence of its Member States, sub-regional bodies to which it belongs and their donors, working for the development of sub-Saharan Africa thanks to its knowhow and skills, that can significantly energize national statistical systems in their key role as main data providers. Accordingly, AFRISTAT should strive to extend its activities to all the other branches of statistics and demography.

2.3 Importance of strategic programming to AFRISTAT member States

Designed to give visibility and further technical and financial coherence to AFRISTAT interventions on one hand, and to ensure better monitoring on the other hand, the ASPA is a sound working framework for and a blueprint on statistical development for Member States and their donors for the period 2006-2010.

Hence, ASPA is also the cornerstone of all AFRISTAT annual intervention plans that will underpin the design of work programmes for its experts outlining the area, nature and funding of their interventions for the period 2006-2010. In this vein, it directs AFRISTAT’s planned investment programme to improve the quality and scope of its intervention capacity. Since these investments warrant organisational and management reforms, special emphasis should be laid on recruitment, retention and continued training of experts.

The ASPA may also serve as a guiding principle to Member States for the formulation of national statistical development strategies. It aims first, to be a reference framework to guide national statistical development strategic choices and second, as a technical capacity platform made available to sub-Saharan African countries by AFRISTAT for the period 2006-2010 for the purpose of meeting their technical assistance needs.

Lastly, ASPA is an umbrella framework for all statistical development initiatives in AFRISTAT Member States. In this respect, its implementation will avoid duplication and promote rational resource utilisation thereby contributing to the establishment of synergies among the various stakeholders (Member States and donors at regional and sub-regional levels, etc.). The ensuing action plans should be adequately flexible and smooth for the Board of Directors to approve them every year based on developments in Member States.

To sustain and ensure greater efficiency to AFRISTAT’s initiative to formulate a strategic plan of activities, Member States are encouraged to formulate strategies in a bid to stimulate demand that can be funded sustainably and build requisite capacities to satisfy such.

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2.1. Information challenges Table of contents 3 Intervention strategy : the ASPA