African Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development have adopted a set of principles to power the data revolution on the continent for sustainable development, during a high – level conference held this week in Addis Ababa.
During the 8th Joint Annual AUC-ECA Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development underway this week, country Ministers adopted the Africa Data Consensus, developed and backed by research organizations, civil society organizations, and technology pioneers prior to the Ministerial meeting. Ministers agreed to take the first steps towards establishing a groundbreaking new policy and investment framework to improve data in Africa.
It is hoped that these actions will serve to accelerate and institutionalize the nascent data revolution across sub-Saharan Africa.
According to a statement released by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the Ministers agreed that “a sustained data revolution is needed to drive social, economic and structural transformation in every African country. Such a revolution will also make it easier to track our countries’ progress towards meeting national and globally agreed sustainable development goals, with a view to leave no one behind.” Stronger national data systems will also contribute to the African Union’s Agenda 2063.
Findings from a 2014 report co-authored by Alex Ezeh of African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC) and Amanda Glassman of Center for Global Development (CGD) support the Africa Data Consensus’ that strong country civil registration systems should form the backbone of the African data revolution. Statistical fundamentals such as taxes and trade, births and deaths, and growth and poverty, taxes and trade, land and the environment, sickness, and schooling in Africa, are frequently outdated, inaccurate, unvalidated, or simply unavailable, the report states.
APHRC is a pan-African, non-governmental organization that conducts policy relevant research on population, health, and education and drives its use in policy and practice, as well as strengthens the research capacity of African scholars and research institutions.
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