THE Mineral Value Chain Monitoring Team (MVCMP) has established the Mineral Data Analysis Centre (MIDAC) whose aim is to provide accurate mining production and export statistics.
The centre, which is operating from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) is critical to attaining the overall objectives of the MVCMP and the Mineral Production Monitoring Support Project (MPMSP) of ‘institutionalization of the Mineral Value Chain framework in other Government Institutions and Agencies through effective change management’.
MVCMP Team Leader Saviour Simwanza says having full-time staff with different areas of expertise, drawn from the respective partner public sector institutions and participating in the Working Groups is very critical and forms a fundamental and consistent basis to deliver the remaining milestones.
“To ensure that these officers are kept away from their offices and work on a full-time basis during the ‘foundation building’ stage, the Central Statistics Office has availed a Project office to accommodate the MIDAC in their new building. The MVCMP is providing the necessary infrastructure such as computers, furniture and optic fibre connectivity,” said Mr. Simwanza.
He added: “Central to the establishment of a Mineral Data Analysis Centre (MIDAC) that should be adequately equipped to take up the challenge of providing accurate mining production and export statistics for informed decision making”.
The composition of the MIDAC Core Team are Six Officers from the Ministry of Mining and Minerals Development (MMMD), three officers from CSO, two from Zambia Revenue Authority (ZRA), and one each from Road Development Agency (RDA) and Zambia Bureau of Standards (ZABS).
Others operating from MIDAC are the Long Term Advisor from Statistical Norway and MVCMP Communication Consultant. The consultants from UNCTAD are expected to join the centre soon.
The Mineral Value Chain Monitoring Project has had challenges with the availability and consistency of officers, from all key stakeholder institutions, to attend to the Project work whenever called upon which has resulted in delayed achievement of most project milestones. More often than not, stakeholder institutions do send some officers to participate in various project meetings that are called however; there has not been consistency in which officers are sent for these meetings presenting a challenge of knowledge transfer to new members before any progress can be made. This has therefore resulted in the Project not having the necessary critical mass of officers that can get to be trained in the process with view of sustainably manage the framework once the Project comes to an end and the Consultants, who have been seconded on a full-time basis from Statistics Norway, leave by 30th June 2017.
Similar sentiments have been advanced by Statistics Norway through the mission report that submitted by Senior Advisor, Ms. Vibeke Nielsen after her mission in November 2017. The Consultants indicated that even though much can be automated in the project, human resources are vital to understand and check the results which the electronic solutions provide. They emphasised that it has been their main goal to train selected key experts from the various Project’s stakeholders with the Central Statistics Office, as the official institutions mandated to analyse and produce data for Zambia, being the key change driver.
This has been expected to be done through involving them in the technical specification and development work. The target has been that a needed minimum number of officers can run the daily work in data validation and processing, but also that local experts are able to continue development work even after the consultants leave the country. This is equally true for all the workgroups though the amount of work differs, hence the differences in the number of staff proposed.