Namibia Tourism Satellite Account Capacity Building a good start

By Economic Commission For Africa || ECA
Africa Namibia Tourism Satellite Account Capacity Building a good start

Windhoek, Namibia 18 August 2023 – The Namibia TSA capacity building training series rounded off on 18 August with a breakfast meeting concluding the 4th training workshop which started on Monday 14 August 2023 at Arebbusch Hotel in Windhoek, Namibia.

The fourth TSA Capacity Building Workshop which ran from 14 – 18 August 2023, was the final training in a series of capacity-building workshops organised by the Economic Commission for Africa, the Namibia United Nations Country Team and the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism (MEFT) of Namibia in a partnership to strengthen tourism data collection and reporting systems for the country.

The training workshops aimed at empowering members of the National TSA Steering Committee- drawn from key institutions including government ministries, the national statistical office, the national planning commission, the national bank, Namibia Tourism Board, the private sector, and members of the academia, with critical skills to produce reliable, timeous and high-quality tourism statistics.

The 4th and final Capacity Building Workshop trained 35 National TSA Committee members and was focused on imparting the necessary skills for calculating the direct contribution of the tourism sector to the Namibian economy through construction of the Satellite Account for the sector using the UNWTO TSA methodology. The training builds on the successes of the previous training workshops which resulted in preliminary compilations of Tables 1- 6 and completed the process with preliminary compilations of Tables 7-10. To round up the training, a breakfast meeting was organised for the 18th of August where identified champions from the TSA Committee presented the draft compilations of the 10 TSA Tables to the principals of the institutions making up the National TSA Committee and the national quality controllers.

Speaking at the breakfast meeting, the Executive Director for MEFT, in a statement read on his behalf by the Deputy Executive Director, Mr. Boas Erkie- Director for Planning, stated that it has been a challenge for the Ministry to fulfill its mandate of developing and promoting the tourism sector in the country due to the lack of accurate and reliable tourism data and, he noted that, “ the measurement of the contribution of tourism sector to the GDP has been a challenge due to the complexity of reconciling the supply and demand tables”. Thus, he applauded ECA for the partnership under the TSA Project which will enhance the understanding of the dynamics of the tourism industry but, also to inform the formulation of policies, programmes and strategies to develop the sector.

The Statistician General’s remarks at the same gathering also echoed the importance of the TSA for Namibia as a robust analytical framework that assists in understanding how tourism affects the economy and commended the TSA project’s endeavour to impart skills and knowledge on compiling the national TSA. He applauded ECA for the technical support and thanked all stakeholders for the collaborative spirit that defined the entire capacity building process from time of the project launch on 19 May 2022. He further hoped that the “skills and experience gained during this time will be sustained to continue updating and maintaining the account as a country”. The Director for Tourism and Gaming in the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism- Mr. Sebulon Chicalu, gave an overview of the TSA Project for Namibia and reiterated that the lack of quality statistics hampers the advancement of the sector and appreciated ECA commitment in providing technical and advisory stewardship under this project which provided a fundamental building block for quality data and accurate accounting of the sector.

The presentations on the various draft TSA Tables showcased the preliminary findings from the capacity building workshops as a critical step towards the compilation of the national TSA. The event provided stakeholders with an opportunity to input into the process - interrogating the preliminary data tables for accuracy, redundancy, consistency as well as adherence to the national Data Quality Assurance Framework.