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Africa needs to build its statistical capacity

Investing in data for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development goals was crucial if the continent is to achieve the goal of leaving no-one behind. High quality data is crucial for the success of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa, said Economic Commission for Africa's Tinfissi Joseph Ilboudo, at High Level Policy Dialogue (HLPD) 2018.
© Hannu Viitanen via 123RF
Africa needs to build its statistical capacity to produce accurate, high quality and timely data to inform policies that will support the full implementation of the sustainable development goals and the continent’s Agenda 2063, said Ilboudo.

In a presentation on the role of data and statistics in SDG financing at the on-going high-level policy dialogue on development planning in Africa, Ilboudo, chief of the statistical development section in the ECA’s African Centre for Statistics (ACS), said investing in data for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development goals was crucial if the continent is to achieve the goal of leaving no-one behind.

“Data and statistics which are timely, accurate, high quality and well packaged could influence adequate financing to support implementation and monitoring of the SDGs to ensure tangible policy formulation which will translate into the creation of inclusive societies,” he told high-level participants attending the meeting.

He said data to inform policy remained a significant challenge across Africa, adding the ECA and its partners were working hard with member States to try and plug the gap.

Data gaps

Ilboudo said producing data for the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires robust statistical legislations across the continent; effective coordination of all actors in the national statistical systems; adequate resources; mainstreaming national strategy for the development of statistics with SDGs orientation in the national development planning; and most of all, political will.

He said data gaps were impacting the optimal allocation of resources for SDGs implementation.
“The Addis Ababa Action Agenda (AAAA) provides a new global framework for financing sustainable development that aligns all financing flows and policies with economic, social and environmental priorities and ensures that financing is stable and sustainable,” said Ilboudo.

“The financing needs to achieve the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development are extremely large, on the order of trillions of dollars annually,” he said, adding Africa required between $200bn and $1.2trillion per annum for the SDGs to be achieved. This is about 10 to more than 50% of the continent’s total GDP.

“Our planners should advocate for national statistical development as the base for monitoring and evaluation of national development planning; the mainstreaming NSDS into national development planning; support resource mobilization for statistical production and use; and continuously collaborate with national statistical systems to improve data production and use for planning,” said Ilboudo.
He said SDG financing should come from both private and public sources.

The HLPD is being attended by high-level participants from UN member States, including Finance and Planning Ministers. The meeting is being held under the theme, Financing the SDGs in Africa: Strategies for planning and resource mobilisation.
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