Statistical gaps hampering Africa’s development says ECA official

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Addis Ababa, May 26, 2017 (ECA) – Statistical gaps are hampering Africa’s development and transformation, Bartholomew Armah of the Economic Commission for Africa’s Renewal of Planning Section in the Macro-Economic Policy Division, says in the progress report assessing the level of adaptation of Agendas 2030 and 2063 into national development plans.

The report was presented at the recent Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD) that was held in Addis Ababa in preparation for the 2017 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) that will be held in New York in July.

Mr. Armah said although the ECA and its partners are doing a lot to address the statistical gap on the continent, much still needed to be done.

“More investments are needed in strengthening data systems on the continent to enable evidence-based planning, implementation and reporting,” he said, adding “reaching the last mile” and “leaving no one behind” as espoused in the two agendas, requires greater availability of information on the poor, their gender, age groups, geographical location and their binding constraints.

Mr. Armah said national statistics offices across the continent require stronger capacity to gather and analyse data on socio-economic issues, including demographic profiles; generate data for baselines and to continuously analyse impacts of different macro-economic and micro-economic policies on trends in poverty and inequality, education, health, labour and social protection.

He said strategies for mobilizing domestic and external resources to finance development plans should be designed and adhered to.

Strengthening domestic resource mobilization can be achieved through improved tax administration, broadening tax bases, the elimination of tax avoidance loopholes and addressing illicit financial outflows from the continent.

The first priority, said Mr. Armah, should be domestic resources so implementation of national plans and policies is not derailed by changes in external priorities.

“In addition, awareness by key economic actors and the general public of both Agenda 2063 and the SDGs, and what they stand for, as well as capacity for implementation and reporting, is important,” he said, adding it is also crucial to understand the importance of peace and security and home-grown solutions to economic and social governance as underscored by Agenda 2063.

Mr. Armah said the integrated nature of Agenda 2063 and the SDGs calls for an integrated approach to their implementation and reporting if the continent is to enhance its efforts to reduce poverty and eliminate extreme hunger.

He said African countries should increase investments in agriculture to contain extreme hunger and expand their processing industries, adding the rapid population growth on the continent requires skills training to enhance employment opportunities.

Mr. Armah said Africa should prioritise trade above aid if it is to achieve inclusive and sustainable growth and prosperity for all.

The ARFSD tracks progress in the implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that are at the core of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

In Africa, the SDGs are being implemented concurrently and in an integrated manner with the First 10-year Implementation Plan of Agenda 2063, Africa’s 50-year strategic framework for socio-economic transformation which seeks to accelerate the implementation of past and existing continental initiatives for growth and sustainable development.

 

Issued by:
Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 551 5826
E-mail: ecainfo@uneca.org