Africa Seeks Efficient Statistical System to Inform its Dev’t Policy

ADDIS ABABA – African data experts were urged to devise a road map reform and modernize the continent’s statistical systems for informed decision-making.

The community of African statisticians and data experts is holding back-to-back meetings in Addis Ababa this week as part of the eighth Statistical Commission for Africa or StatCom-Africa.

  • ‘Tools for efficient policy’

In his opening remarks Monday, Ethiopia’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Demeke Mekonnen encouraged the experts to help Africa develop an effective data system.

“Comprehensive tools that can enable governments to create and execute the policies required to achieve the digital goals needed for regional integration as efficiently as possible,” the Minister said.

Timely, reliable, and relevant data and statistics to inform policy remain a significant challenge across Africa, according to the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

  • ‘A must-change situation’

A statistical update on birth registration, released this week, claims around 91 million unregistered children under the age of five live in the continent, constituting more than half of the global total.

“It is unfortunate that Africa continues to have the highest proportion of unregistered births and deaths in the world,” lamented Demeke.

During the COVID-19 Pandemic period, he noted that only a handful of countries were capable of producing sufficient quality mortality and cause of death statistics to guide public health decision-making and planning.

“This situation… must change, and this event should define the steps Africa must take to stop the tragedy of invisibility,” the deputy prime minister said.

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