Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has congratulated Botswana for maintaining a National Summary Data Page (NSDP) which is fully compliant to the set timeliness goals for all data categories.

Botswana enrolled for participation in the IMF Enhanced General Data Dissemination Standards (e-GDDS) in November 2015. The basic requirements for participation in the e-GDDS are, (i) commitment to use the e-GDDS framework for production and dissemination of macroeconomic, financial and socio-demographic data, (ii) designation of a country coordinator as a liaison person with the IMF staff and (iii) preparation and submission of metadata on relevant indicators to the IMF. Botswana fulfilled all these conditions and appointed a coordinator from Statistics Botswana due its mandate as a coordinator of the National Statistical System. Director Economic Statistics Ms Boitumelo Matlhaga is the country e-GDDS Coordinator.

The e-GDDS data categories reported on are aligned to the data used by the IMF for macroeconomic surveillance and the annual Article IV missions it conducts in member countries. In addition to the Real Sector, Fiscal, Monetary & Financial and External Sectors other supplementary categories are included in the e-GDDS framework.

The data is disseminated through a National Summary Data Page which is a data portal and this provides users with easy access to data. Botswana’s NSDP Go Live was on 29th January 2016. Since then the statistics producers, Statistics Botswana (SB), Ministry of Finance and Economic Development (MFED) and Bank of Botswana (BoB), continue to upload data for the relevant categories.

The IMF monitors the country’s compliance to the set dissemination timeliness goals and sends a report to the E-GDDS Coordinator at the beginning of every month. This report is meant to indicate compliance as well as the need to address any non-compliant categories.

The e-GDDS timeliness is less stringent than that of the IMF Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) which is strictly set by the IMF. For e-GDDS a country can set its timeliness goals in alignment with the SDDS or according to what it finds feasible. Botswana is currently working towards subscribing to SDDS, so most of the e-GDDS categories e.g. CPI, GDP, External Trade, have been set to SDDS timeliness.

Since the inception of the NSDP, there has always been a few indicators that lagged behind in timeliness due to among other things capacity constraints, backlogs in production of statistics and technical issues. During the past two months the IMF has worked closely with the Botswana e-GDDS team to resolve any impediments to full compliance.

The Botswana NSDP monitoring report received on 5th February 2019 indicated full compliance in timeliness goals for all data categories. The IMF has congratulated the statistics producers (SB, MFED & BoB) for their dedication and commitment. It will be important that as a country we ensure sustainability of this great achievement through timely production and dissemination of statistical products. Discipline in dissemination and full compliance to e-GDDS will be a stepping stone to attaining SDDS.