The AfDB hosts the 10th Regional Seminar of International Comparison Program for Africa in Tunis

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"Is the number of people living in poverty declining?" The forthcoming International Comparison Program for Africa (ICP-Africa) Seminar on "Data Quality Control",  organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), to be held in Hammamet, Tunisia on  9-11 May 2005, will intend to provide means to answer this question for the continent. Through ICP - Africa, for the first time, ADB is assessing comparative standards of living for a better future in Africa.

This ground breaking event includes leading experts on International and Regional data collection and evaluation as well as senior executives from ADB’s Regional Member Countries, regional economic institutions, and multilateral development agencies. Organizations in attendance include the African Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century (Paris 21), the United Kingdom Office of National Statistics (ONS-UK) and The National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE-France), Afristat, the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the South African Development Community (SADC), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA), the West African Monetary Institute (WAMI).

The objective of the program for the current round of ICP is to generate reliable and timely data not only for computing purchasing power parities (PPPs), but also for supporting and monitoring the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs), the African Peer Review Mechanism of the New Partnership’s for African Development (NEPAD) and the Results-Based Management and Evaluation system for development effectiveness.

The expected outcome of this seminar is the implementation of an efficient network of International Data Quality Control Experts in Africa.

The International Comparison Program (ICP) is a global statistical initiative aimed at producing estimates of price levels, expenditure volumes, and purchasing power parities (PPPs) that allows for cross-country comparisons of economic aggregates in real terms, under the supervision of the global ICP office at the World Bank.

The programme presents a rare opportunity for African countries to join with the international community to improve the quality of their national data.

In 2003, the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) took the lead in the coordination of the program for the African region, committing appreciable resources to statistical capacity building in its Regional Member Countries.

This Seminar will kick start the diffusion of ICP-Africa quality image in order to enhance the knowledge of the program within Multilateral Development Banks and financial development institutions, Regional Member Countries and around the world. The worldwide awareness campaign on ICP-Africa will be emphasized by four other regional seminars to be held in 2005, the development of the ICP-Africa website and the upcoming ICP-Africa Newsletter as well as by the African Statistical Day in November 19, 2005.