Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Take world bank figures on growth positively

By TheCitizen

Speaking in a moment of frustration, some sage said ‘people don’t eat statistics.

They want food on the table…!’ This notwithstanding, nations still need to use statistics to determine with reasonable certitude where they’ve been as a state; where they’re and the way forward: where they should be going in diligent pursuit of meaningful and sustainable economic development.

Statistics--that science and practice of collecting, analysing, organising, interpreting and presenting masses of numerical data is crucial. Indeed, it forms a crucial part for planning economic development. Correct statistics provide the requisite framework in which a nation’s economy is fitted for better-understanding of how it can and should go about translating its economic growth into all-inclusive, meaningful and sustainable development.

While economic growth is about an increase in goods and services produced by the population over a given period, economic development seeks to improve the economic, political, social and cultural well-being of the people – factoring the econo-growth into the developmental processes.

Statistics must be impeccable to be useful. It is for this reason that responsible organisations spend a long time to revisit, review and rewrite their earlier statistics to ensure accuracy of the data.

Peer review of statistics is therefore common practice in the field. This is no wonder one of Tanzania’s major development partners – the World Bank – revised downward its earlier statistical projection of economic growth from 7.2 to 6.6 per cent this year.

Given the fact that the move was based on scientific methods, we should accept the new projects with the view of identifying areas of the economy that need fixing for better results in future.

Likewise, we must all rally with a clarion call on the authorities to ensure that they just as promptly act on the laundry-list of shortcomings identified by the Bank – and, acting together with our other development partners, surmount them decisively.

We, as Tanzanians, should take the new projections positively.

PLEDGE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

The UN climate talks that opened in Bonn, Germany, on Monday was right to signal the urgent need to effect the treaty on gas emissions even as member countries sought to understand the effect of a United States pullout from the Paris agreement on global warming.

The meeting, coming five months after US President Donald Trump threatened to withdraw from the 2015 treaty, is vital to cement global consensus on demanding that each of the major industrialised countries meet its bargain in cutting gas emissions.

With a world in distress over erratic and extreme weather patterns, US which has recently suffered disastrous wild fires and flooding should be the last to want out of the treaty that seeks to safeguard the lives of billions of people whose lives is under threat if no deliberate action is taken to bring down global warming.

It was, therefore, welcoming to hear more countries pledge to remain faithful to the Paris agreement whose goal is to cap global warming at under 2 degrees Celsius. Taking action is not a choice but a necessity that will depend on level headed reasoning from all global leaders. The kind of selfishness exhibited by President Trump, while aimed at winning support from his overzealous nationalistic supporters, is the kind of politics that must be rejected at the global stage. Not when the same country is blamed for exacerbating global warming.

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