The 1st Technical Working Group (TWG) CountrySTAT Meeting and Training Workshop of the Gambia were held at the ICT Training Centre, Gambia Ratio and Television Station (GRTS), Kanifing, The Gambia from 17 to 21 December 2012.
The five days training workshop was attended by 23 participants from the ANR sector namely Planning Services Unit-DOA-MOA, Plant Protection Services Unit-DOA-MOA, Soil and Water Management Services Unit-DOA-MOA, Department of Livestock-MOA, Department of Water Resources, Department of Fisheries, Department of Forestry, National Environment Agency (NEA) and Gambia Bureau of Statistics (GBoS). The training was sponsored by the joint Technical Cooperation Programme of the FAO, UNDP, WFP and Planning Services Unit to fulfil one of the key outcomes which is to setup a functioning comprehensive Data Base System on the ANR sector on a CountrySTAT platform.
Mr. Aba G. Sankareh, Deputy Director of the Planning Services Unit (PSU) gave an opening statement on the five days 1st Technical Working Group (TWG) CountrySTAT Meeting and Training Workshop of the Gambia. In his opening remarks, he praised the participants for responding to the workshop and urged them to take it seriously. He also added that there is a need to change if the country needs food security and that all stakeholders have a key role to play in the attainment of its statistic agenda as it is needed for decision and policy making of the country.
Ms. Josephine L. Logronio, UNV Database Specialist and Mr. Alieu Bahoum, GBoS Senior Statistician conducted the training on CountrySTAT and Mr. Ebrima Cham discussed the Food Balance Sheet. Data on Production, Machinery, Land and Irrigation, Fisheries, Forestry, Water, Pesticide, Trade, Prices, Population and Labor were validated, analyzed and uploaded to the CountrySTAT database by the participants. They are now available at http://www.countrystat.org/gmb.
CountrySTAT is a statistical framework to improve governance of national statistics system for food and agriculture. It disseminate, at a unique access point, food and agricultural statistics at National and International level. A One-stop centre for official statistics on agriculture and food. The Gambia CountrySTAT is being maintained by the National CountrySTAT Secretariat consists of Gambia Bureau of Statistics and Planning Services Unit Staff of the Department of Agriculture. It is administered by the National CountrySTAT Coordination Board headed by Mr. Aba G. Sankareh as coordinator.
Ms. Sirra Ndow, UNDP Governance Programme Officer and Mr. Darko of WFP attended the presentation of the Gambia CountrySTAT Database and Website. They were delighted that a comprehensive database for the ANR sector was established and made available to the public. However, Ms. Sirra Ndow commented on the gender balance of the participants. She also reiterated that a backup of the CountrySTAT database should be in place. Mr. Darko on the other hand emphasized on the need to have a data analysis report to make the CountrySTAT more useable by the public.