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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  31 Oct 2014

AFRICA: Policy is Only As Good As the Statistics That Inform It

 





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A third of African countries have not conducted a census in the last ten years, according to the Africa Survey 2014, to be released October 28th by Good Governance Africa (GGA) in Johannesburg.

The Africa Survey is a comprehensive annual collection of social, political and economic indicators for the continent’s 55 African countries, compiled from a wide range of sources.

GGA obtained the information for this release from the World Bank and the United Nations.

Six African countries have not conducted a census in over 20 years: Western Sahara (44 years); the Democratic Republic of Congo and Eritrea (30); Somalia (27); and Madagascar (21), while Angola did a census this year for the first time since 1970.

Only 16 African countries scored above 70 for statistical capacity, a measure of the competence of national statistical systems based on criteria consistent with international recommendations.

Scores range from 0 to 100 (best). Egypt achieved the highest statistical capacity score at 90. Eleven countries scored under 50 with Somalia scoring the lowest in Africa at 24. South Africa scored 77.

“Many African statistics are not reliable,” said GGA researcher Georgina Alexander. “This has far-reaching implications for policy on the continent because policy can only be as good as the statistics that inform it. African decision makers can only make good policy with accurate numbers.”


 
 
 
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