Uganda is seeking to host the East Africa Community Bureau of Statistics.
In November 2018, the East African Legislative Assembly-EALA passed the EAC Statistics Bureau Bill, 2017. The Bill among others seeks to establish a statistics bureau for the community as one of the key institutions for the establishment of the East African Monetary Union. EAC is expected to achieve the monetary union by 2024.
Dr Albert Byamugisha, the Board chairman of Uganda National Bureau of Statistics, says that Uganda is best placed to host the bureau since the UBOS office in Entebbe was established in 1946 to collect and disseminate statistics for the East Africa Protectorate under the British colonial government.
The office in Entebbe continued to carry out the same role after Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania gained independence and formed East African Community in 1967. However, Uganda maintained the bureau offices after the EAC collapsed in the 1970s.
According to Byamugisha, Uganda has the capacity to host the bureau like it did in the past. He adds that hosting the bureau will provide job opportunities to Ugandans and also boost Uganda’s influence in the region.
Dr Chris Ndatira Mukiza, the UBOS Executive Director, says that if Uganda hosts the statistics bureau, it will be housed at the new UBOS whose construction is yet to commence.
The new UBOS offices will be constructed on the plot that is currently being rented out to the Special Forces Command- SFC on Airport Road.
The East African Community Secretariat is yet to invite countries to submit bids to host the statistics Bureau.
Dr Mukiza says that providing credible statistics will however have to start with all local governments, ministries, departments and agencies feeding credible statistics to the National Statistical System, managed by UBOS.
The system will be developed between 2020/2021 and 2023/2024 financial years, so that UBOS fulfills its mandate as the source for official statistics.