Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 29 August 2016 (ECA) – The Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has launched its newest product, the Africa Statistics Flash, which captures macro-economic and social data on the continent, giving member states and stakeholders an indication of where things stand in Africa on a monthly basis.
ECA chief Carlos Lopes has long been a proponent for Africa to produce quality data as a means to ably measure the continent’s development and transformation in a credible manner.
Director, Oliver Chinganya, of the ECA’s African Centre for Statistics, says the Flash is a one-stop shop document which provides an understanding of what is going on in Africa at a glimpse, in terms of performance its economy, trade, external debt, investment, price levels, inflation, population, school enrolment and related issues.
He says the Flash will look at a different country of the 54 member States every month as his division seeks to collect and disseminate credible African data. First to be featured by the Africa Statistics Flash are the 13 fastest growing African economies which are the drivers of Africa’s GDP including the three biggest economies.
“Statistics help us to analyse what is happening so we will be collecting, analysing and making inference from the data and producing the Flash in French and English on a monthly basis,” says Mr. Chinganya.
“If an investor or researcher picks up the Africa Statistics Flash, he or she will quickly be able to form an opinion as to what is going on in the continent; the direction to which it is moving; the GDP growth rate for that period of time, and the structure of the livelihood of the people, including primary school enrolment, mortality rates, trade and related issues, etc.” It allows for quick and informed decision making.
The Flash, adds Mr. Chinganya, is important because it provides crucial information on trends in what has been happening on the continent and is also useful in helping institutions like ECA – a “think thank and do institution” and researchers in predicting what may happen in the future.
In addition the Africa Statistics Flash will also provide information on trade between Africa’s regional economic communities, for example, among Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) versus those in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
ECA is using focal persons in member States to collect, analyse and package the data for dissemination through the Africa Statistics Flash in addition to using other credible sources to provide quality data about the continent through single document.
“If we are going to be that one-stop shop for development information on Africa, we need to have credible data that can be used not only by us but also our member States. So we are working hard towards to create a Africa Statistics Database,” said Mr. Chinganya.
“We now have populated about 80 percent of the database on key indicators, we are still cleaning it up before we can share it with the public.”
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