The African Development Bank’s Open Data Platform went live last week with a promise to shine the light on key developmental aspects across a number of African countries.
The online data platform promises statistical data for all 54 African countries at http://www.afdb.org/statistics. The AfDB said “In addition to social and economic statistics, data on key development topics such as climate change, food security, infrastructure, and gender equality can be accessed by researchers, analysts and policymakers worldwide”.
The launch followed the completion in July 2013 of the last phase of the project for the following 14 African countries: Benin, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Kenya, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Togo.
The AfDB said the Open Data Platform is part of its Africa Information Highway initiative to scale up the collection, management, analysis, and sharing of quality statistics relating to the continent’s development. “This ambitious initiative sees the establishment of live data links between the AfDB, National Statistical Offices, Central Banks and line ministries in all African countries on the one hand and subregional organizations, international development institutions, and a worldwide community of users on the other”.
The AfDB added that “By providing quality data aligned to the highest international statistical standards, the initiative will foster evidence-based decision making, good governance and public accountability. It will also allow for the tracking of progress in areas such as the Millennium Development Goals at both national and regional levels”.
International development agencies, including the IMF, will be uploading and regularly updating their statistics on African countries onto the AfDB’s Open Data for Africa Platform. The Platform will function as a central hub for data-sharing with international development partners. In addition, the IMF and AfDB have formed a partnership to provide joint technical assistance to African countries to assist in their data submission and reporting.