Tanzania Defends Changing Its Statistics Law

By Kenneth Karuri

 A motorcycle and pedestrians pass along a dirt road in the district of Nyangoto, Tanzania. Photographer: Trevor Snapp

A motorcycle and pedestrians pass along a dirt road in the district of Nyangoto, Tanzania. Photographer: Trevor Snapp

Tanzania is amending its Statistics Act to ensure that all official published data are accurate, and the changes won’t restrict freedom of speech, Finance Minister Philip Mpango said.

Mpango made the comments to the International Monetary Fund’s regional representative, Maxwell Mkwezalamba, at a meeting in Indonesia, according to an email from the minister’s office on Friday.

Critics say the amendments, which criminalize the publication of figures not approved by the statistician-general, will undermine the free flow of information and deter the work of non-governmental groups and other organizations.

The World Bank has already expressed concern over the proposed changes, noting they “could have serious impacts on the generation and use of official and non-official statistics, which are a vital foundation for the country’s development.”

Source: www.bloomberg.com

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