Press Release: Special Data Dissemination Standard Workshop in Gaborone, Botswana

May 8, 2013

Press Release No. 13/160
May 8, 2013

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) guided a workshop on the Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS) in Gaborone, Botswana, this week for officials from central banks, national statistical offices, and ministries of finance from eight African countries1. The workshop, which benefitted from financial support from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), was aimed at improving the national statistical systems of sub-Saharan African countries that are currently part of the IMF’s General Data Dissemination System (GDDS), with the goal of focusing the development of their national statistical systems towards meeting the requirements of the more stringent SDDS.

Mr. Oduetse Motshidisi, Deputy Governor of the Bank of Botswana, opened the May 6–8 workshop, which included presentations by IMF staff on the main features of the SDDS and active involvement of country representatives, who provided insight on the current status of their compilation and dissemination practices as well as their plans for improvement towards meeting the requirements of the SDDS. More information on countries’ plans for improvement is available on the IMF’s website at IMF staff also used this occasion to exchange views with each delegation to further elaborate and enhance the work plans for graduating to the SDDS.

“We are delighted with the excellent cooperation demonstrated by all the participants. They are keen to continue working to compile and disseminate accurate and timely statistics to the benefit of policymakers and the general public,” said Mark van Wersch, Senior Economist, who led the IMF delegation. “Learning from each other’s experience is a valuable and persuasive tool,” he added.

Fund staff is grateful to the authorities of Botswana for co-hosting the event, as well as its active participation.

The SDDS and the GDDS are two of the IMF’s Data Standards Initiatives.2 The SDDS was established in 1996, and is a monitored standard designed to guide countries that have or might seek access to international capital markets in the dissemination of economic and financial data to the public. The GDDS was established in 1997, and is a statistical development framework designed to guide countries in the provision of economic, financial, and socio-demographic data to the public. Since 2012, the IMF’s Data Standards Initiatives also include the Special Data Dissemination Standard Plus, as a third tier to address data gaps revealed during the global financial crisis.

1 Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, and Uganda.

2 The IMF's Dissemination Standards Bulletin Board ( provides information and access to the Data Standards Initiatives.


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