The relevance of statistics in pushing Africa’s development has gained greater attention as the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) announces a further commitment of $50 million towards assisting statistical development efforts on the continent.
In a recorded video address shown at the ongoing 7th Africa Symposium on Statistical Development (ASSD) and third Statistical Commission for Africa (StatCom Africa III) conferences in Cape Town, South Africa, Wednesday January 18, 2012, the Chief Economist and Vice President of the AfDB Prof. Nthuli Ncube said over the last decade the Bank has mobilised close to $100 million in direct grants to assist African countries to strengthen their statistical capacity building efforts.
“January 18, 2012, the AfDB board will be considering another proposal to mobilize $50 million towards assisting statistical development efforts on the continent,” he told the conference.
Citing the 4th Aid Effectiveness Conference in Busan, South Korea, which was held in December 2011, he said donors and partners at the conference recommitted themselves to improve aid delivery by systematically and effectively leveraging resources to boost development results – particularly in Africa where the challenges are immense.
“The crucial role of statistics in promoting public accountability, transparency and good governance was on the agenda. The focus on measuring results particularly the success of the MDGs as we approach the target year of 2015, has brought to the fore the importance and urgent need for reliable statistics,” he said.
According to Prof. Ncube, “We need statistics to support the strenuous efforts governments are making towards poverty reduction and the social and economic betterment of their people.”
He added that statistics has a role in furthering the good governance and human rights agenda.
By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi, in Cape Town, South Africa.