Statistics Importance In Yemen [Archives:2000/48/Reportage]

November 27 2000

Yasser Mohammed Ahmed
Yemen Times
As dealing with data in Yemen is a recent idea, awareness of the importance of statistics is neglected. Statistics is important to make wise and proper decisions for exploiting available resources to ensure maximum advantage with less cost.
Data processing is defined as the process in which data are gathered, classified and analyzed by advanced technological means like computer and Internet to get information ready for use, publishing, exchanging, and spreading them. In Yemen the number of people working in the data field are 1056 according to the Second Economic Conference statistics.
The Yemeni Central Bank issuances are an indispensable reference for economic researchers, government, public and coordinate institutions, and world organizations due to their transparency and good preparation. Thus, the country needs several centers to provide several divergent statistics. The Central Organization for Statistics, established in 22 May 1990 sharing supervision and control with the Ministry of Planning and Growth, is a comprehensive source that is expanding day by day.There are 727 employees in the Organization distributed among different offices. Demographic survey of mother and child health had been carried out in 9192 since the Organization was established. Another survey of the returnee immigrants after the Second Gulf War in 1991 was made. In the same year a survey of the labor force was carried out and in 1992 another survey of Family Budget was made. In fact, many achievements were done like preparation of a series of the Annual Statistics Guide, Foreign Trade statistics, preparation of data for the first general elections in the Republic, beside other data.
Despite all this success, the statistical work still encounters many difficulties among which are: lack of a systematic and legislative structure of the Central Organization for Statistics, absence of efficient labor force, feebleness and recency of statistical work in some administrative units, scarcity of financial resources and non-awareness of the importance of statistical work. Despite these difficulties, Yemens awareness of the importance of statistical work is increasing. It established a stock market in accordance with the Ministerial Decree No. 89 for the year 2000 issued on 18 Aug. 2000. It also established the National Center for Documents in accordance with the Republican Decree No. 155 for the year 1995, the Libraries and Information Technology in the Faculty of Arts – Sanaa University in 9495, and some data centers that belong to some governmental authorities like Al-Tawfiq Information Center in the Ministry of Information and the Industrial Center in the Ministry of Industry.
The scopes of statistical work in Yemen include mother and child problems and social care. Studies have shown that there is a great difficulty in reaching exact data about the volume of retardation and disability problem and classifying it according to sex, age and the geographical distribution. Among these problems are: scarcity of field surveys and researches, difference of criteria used in describing the retarded and disabled people, lack of equipment used in measuring kinds and degrees of disability cases specially at infantery or early childhood.
Field studies made by international and local organizations have shown that the total number of disabled people are 1,400,000 among whom 765,000 are below the age of 18. In the Capital Secretariat there is 15,7% of beggars, in Sanaa City 19,2%, in Hodeida 18,5%, in Dhamar 21,1%. Thirty-seven percent of the total number of beggars are children between 5 and 15, 10% are aged people over 60, 35% of beggars at working age are between 15 and 60.
Information technology is very important for most developing countries for a real leap in their plans for a better future.
TV, radio, video, satellite dish, computer, telephones of all sorts are means of technology that provide information and facilitate communication. That has become a part of most Yemeni peoples lives. These technologies enable countries to interact with the human development. However, Yemens interaction is incomplete when we consider that it is a passive rendezvous for all those services. Between a 90 to 99 investment expenses in the communication network reached 29 billion Yemeni rials and the telephone capacity for 1999 reached 392 thousand lines of which 29 thousand are mobile lines. In the government communication sector there are about 170 employees. Despite all this, as the five-year-plan guide indicates, Yemen, like other countries, is still in its lowest level and according to the Human Development report for the year 1998 the number of these technological means is far below the normal average.
All information in this report is taken from the Consultative Council Seminar and the Central Organization for Statistics in a symposium on Statistics and its development scopes in the information revolution held from 21 to 22 November 2000.