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Joakim Stymne, Director-General of Statistics Sweden, visits Somalia and Kenya

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Last week, Statistics Sweden’s Director-General Joakim Stymne visited Somalia and Kenya. The reason for the visit was Statistics Sweden’s international cooperation with the two countries regarding institutional capacity building.

It was the first time that a Director-General of Statistics Sweden has visited Somalia, and the good collaboration between the countries will increase even more.

- It is very important that Somalia is moving in the direction of establishing an autonomous independent statistics agency. I think it is very important when it comes to the public’s trust and confidence in statistics, which is part of trust and confidence in the Government, Stymne said to Somalia Government representatives as well as Somalian media during the visit.

The discussions focused on how Statistics Sweden can contribute to strengthening of the role of statistics in the development of democratic institutions. This is an important step in the process of rebuilding the country after years of armed conflict. Before long the statistical department in Mogadishu is expected to take on the role as an independent agency.

In Kenya, it is evident that statistics have gained more and more significance, especially in the context of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The demand for reliable and high quality statistics is growing among users. Joakim Stymne stressed the importance of the national statistical institute as the primary coordinating actor within the national statistical system. He stated further that Statistics Sweden is prepared to support Kenya in strengthening its statistical institutions as part of the democratic development.

Sweden’s contribution to the development of statistical systems was subject to both appreciation and praise during the visits to Somalia and Kenya. Challenges remain but Statistics Sweden and Sweden are ready to assist in the development of both countries and to deepen the partnership and relations within the statistical network. 

Facts

  • The cooperation with the statistical institutes in Somalia began in the mid-1980s, but ended when war broke out in 1991. The cooperation resumed in 2015.
  • Statistics Sweden has been assisting the statistical institute in Kenya for three and a half years. The partnership is an important part of the Swedish strategy for development cooperation in Kenya, with the aim of strengthening democratic institutions.
  • The overall goal of Statistics Sweden’s institutional cooperation is to strengthen the national statistical systems in the partnership countries. The priorities are governed by the Swedish strategies for development cooperation, and cooperations are largely financed by the Swedish International Development Agency (Sida) and the Swedish Embassies.