We must address hindrances to raising funds for statistics in Africa – AfDB

Charles L. Lufumpa - AfDB

Experts have acknowledged that the statistical data production in Africa has improved over time but a lot more remains to be done to improve statistics and the role the discipline plays in development matters on the continent.

Among some of the challenges facing the continent’s statistics institutions is lack of funding.

Speaking to ghanabusinessnews.com in an exclusive interview in Cape Town, Charles L. Lufumpa, Director, Statistics Department of the African Development Bank (AfDB) said “We need a lot of resources for statistics, but statistics being what they are, do not attract a lot of funding, so anything that hinders our efforts to raise resources, we need to address very quickly.”

He acknowledged that, statistics has improved drastically in Africa, from about 10 years ago,”but we have a lot of challenges in the individual countries, we have problems of skills and infrastructure necessary for proper statistical production. But the good news is we are making some progress, Africa is moving forward,” he said.

Mr. Lufumba said, quite a number of African countries are already at the stage of producing quality statistics to at least to influence policy decisions.

“Africa wants to be like any other region, we want our statistical systems to be of the highest quality like any other region in the world,” he said.

He indicated that in the last 10 years the AfDB has provided over $100 million to support statistical activities on the continent, “but this is a drop in the ocean considering the needs on the continent,” he said.

Last month, January 2012, the AfDB committed an amount of $50 million towards assisting statistical development efforts in Africa.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi

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