The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched an open data platform for 20 African countries, part of the bank’s “Africa Information Highway (AIH)” initiative aimed at improving data quality, management and dissemination.
The platform, officially launched this week in Pretoria, South Africa, has been designed for use in Algeria, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana, Rwanda, Republic of Congo, Senegal, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
It is designed as a user-friendly tool for extracting, customising and visualising data, offering users a wide range of development data on the countries from various sources, while also facilitating the collection, analysis and sharing of data among countries.
The platform is part of AIH initiative, developed with the overall objective of significantly increasing public access to official and other statistics across Africa, while at the same time supporting African countries in improving data quality, management and dissemination.
“The real value of data lies in its usability. This means that it must be readily available, timely, relevant and accurate,” said AfDB chief economist and vice-president Mthuli Ncube during the launch event, which included a live demonstration of the AIH.
Pali Lehohla of Statistics South Africa expressed his gratitude to the AfDB and in particular its Statistics Department, the driver behind the development of the platform. He said great strides have been made in data collection and access.
“In the past the only way to access information was through a country census and this was not always readily available or shared. Angola is a case in point, where, through the efforts of the African Development Bank and other partners, the country has been able to undertake a population census in 2013, more than 40 years after its last census, providing the basic data to track the country’s development,” he said, urging all present to access the open data system and start benefitting from the portal.
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