AfDB marks World Statistics Day – “Better Data. Better Lives”

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The African Development Bank (AfDB), one of the leading institutions driving statistical development progress in Africa, joined the world in celebrating World Statistics Day on Wednesday, October 20, 2015. The theme for this year’s event was “Better Data. Better Lives”. 

Each year since 2010, World Statistics Day provides a platform for the global statistical community – producers, suppliers, users and all relevant stakeholders – to showcase their achievements and ongoing statistical work. This year’s celebrations follow a significant decision by world leaders to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). “The SDG agenda provides the political impetus and will help to shape the course of statistical capacity development in the years to come,” said Oliver Chinganya, Manager of AfDB’s Statistical Capacity Building Division.

As part of the celebrations, the AfDB Statistics Department held a series of seminars from October 19-23, 2015 with the aim of showcasing statistical activities already underway within Bank’s Statistical Capacity Building (SCB) program. Also highlighted were future programs planned in response to the current demands of the Data Revolution and the post-2015 development agenda.

The Bank’s SCB program is expected to gather momentum in response to the UN’s clarion call to harness the Data Revolution in order to enhance sustainable development. This will entail more data communities coming together and collaborating in a sustainable manner in the context of a data ecosystem.

Reliable and timely statistics are crucial for formulating policies that can positively impact the lives of millions of people. Without the numbers, development impacts cannot be measured. “Improved data sources, sound statistical methods, new technologies, and strengthened statistical systems continue to be actively promoted and financially supported through the AfDB’s Statistical Capacity Building Program,” observed Chinganya.

He underlined the importance of accurate and timely statistics being freely available to all stakeholders when they are most needed.

Through its ground-breaking Africa Information Highway (AIH) initiative, the AfDB provides free and open access to all stakeholders including the public, the Bank’s regional member countries, civil society organizations, academic and research institutions, UN agencies, and the media.

The inaugural World Statistics Day was declared by the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in 2010 to recognize the importance of statistics in improving lives.