The African Development Bank (AfDB) has developed and installed common IT platforms in 13 African countries and one pan-African institution in an effort to boost data management and dissemination on the continent.
The program was launched in November 2012 as part of the Bank’s broader statistical capacity building program in Africa and it involves all 54 countries and 16 sub-regional and regional organizations in Africa.
The aim is to establish live data links between the Bank and National Statistical Agencies, Central Banks and Line Ministries in African countries, on one hand, and linking the countries with each other and with other external development partners, on the other. This will facilitate easy data exchange, validation, analysis and dissemination using common international standards and guidelines.
The ultimate goal of the program is to facilitate wider public access to official statistics and to support countries in their efforts to improve data quality and dissemination for better policy formulation, monitoring and evaluation.
The IT platform being deployed in Africa also features a data submission tool for seamless transfer of country data to the AfDB’s statistical portal. In this context, the AfDB Statistics Department has teamed up with the IMF Statistics Department to help countries prepare National Summary Data Pages, as part of the preparation for subscribing to the enhanced IMF Special Data Dissemination Standards (SDDS-Plus).
The Bank has also partnered with the European Union to provide easy access to agricultural data and to tools for simulating various agricultural policy alternatives. The data submission facility will position the AfDB as the key depository for development data in Africa and the hub for data-sharing with other international development partners.
In an official statement, AfDB said the program “will also significantly revolutionize data management and dissemination in Africa, and reposition the continent for more effective participation in the global information economy.”