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Why Africa May Not Meet SDGs Target – ACS

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – African Center for Statistics (ACS), an arm of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has expressed its reservations on the possibility of Africa meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The ACS of ECA which is the regional coordinator of statistics in Africa, said indicators from its SDGs Dashboard, a tool created to track Africa’s progress on achieving Agenda 2030 and Agenda 2063, show that Africa may likely miss the SDGs.

The mission of ACS is to strengthen the statistical capability of African statistical system for the production of quality statistics in a manner consistent with the international standard. It collaborates with national statistical systems (NSS) to develop quality data in compliance with standard and collect these data for the statistical database and the statistical yearbook.

Director of ACS, Mr. Oliver Chinganya gave the hint on Tuesday during the inaugural ECA Monthly Press Briefing, a channel through which the Commission aims to enhance collaboration with the media and facilitate regular access to its experts and knowledge products.

Mr. Chinganya acknowledged that Africa has made progress in 15 of the 17 SDGs so far. He however noted that this is not enough to achieve the goals of Agenda 2030.

“Out of the 94 measurable targets Africa is likely to meet only 5 at the current progress rate. If Africa continues the current trajectory, it will be impossible to reach such goals in 2030”, he said.

He also pointed out that areas where data availability remains very poor. These areas, according to him, include that of goal 5 on gender and equality and goal 13 on climate change.

Mr. Chinganya further explained the work that the Center has done in areas such as demographic and social statistics, economics statistics and geospatial information statistics and more.

He also highlighted the Centre’s realization of the need to update the 2008 Systems of National Accounts (SNA), which is the internationally agreed upon standard set of recommendations on how to compile measures of economic activity.

“This is a process that ensures that new areas and developments are included in the measurements of our economies across the continent. We are assisting countries to revise how their economies are being measured”, he added.

He equally talked about the work of the Center regarding the modernization of National Statistical Systems in Africa, innovation, leadership and training.

“Part of modernization is innovation, for this reason we have created a data science campus. It has been twinned with the data science campus in Rwanda. This campus is really about tapping into the potential of big data, uses of administrative data and other sources including the use of modern technologies”, he stressed..

The ACS Director said COVID-19 came as a mixed blessing as the lockdowns made in-person data collection impossible in most cases. He said recording deaths and births, for example, became almost impossible. This, therefore, precipitated the adoption of modern technologies to facilitate data collection.

He also harped on the need for journalists to collect data from government sources and for governments to make data available so that the progress of countries can be recorded.

Similarly, the Director of the Publications, Conference and Knowledge Management Division at the ECA, Nita Deerpalsing also took the floor to welcome journalists to the ECA Monthly Press Briefing, which takes place on the first week of every month. She reminded journalists of their “crucial role” in helping Africa meet its development goals.

Meanwhile, in collaboration with the ECA Communication and Media Relations Section (CMRS), ACS will be organizing a series of sessions for journalists on data and statistics in order to boost statistical literacy and interest on the topic.

CMRS also announced plans to launch an ECA Media Award that recognizes and celebrates good quality reporting on data and statistics, as well as in other areas of work covered by the Commission.

Short URL: https://www.africanexaminer.com/?p=78558

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