The African Development Bank’s Open Data Platform is now operational for the entire African continent. This follows the completion in July 2013 of the last phase of the project for the following 14 African countries: Kenya, Benin, Comoros, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, São Tomé and Príncipe, Sierra Leone, Swaziland, and Togo.
Statistical data for all 54 African countries are now available to all users at http://www.afdb.org/statistics. In addition to social and economic statistics, data on key development topics such as climate change, food security, infrastructure, and gender equality can be accessed by researchers, analysts and policymakers worldwide. The Open Data Platform is part of the AfDB’s Africa Information Highway initiative to scale up the collection, management, analysis, and sharing of quality statistics relating to the continent’s development.
This ambitious initiative sees the establishment of live data links between the AfDB, National Statistical Offices, Central Banks and line ministries in all African countries on the one hand and subregional organizations, international development institutions, and a worldwide community of users on the other. By providing quality data aligned to the highest international statistical standards, the initiative will foster evidence-based decision-making, good governance and public accountability. It will also allow for the tracking of progress in areas such as the Millennium Development Goals at both national and regional levels.
International development agencies, including the IMF, will be uploading and regularly updating their statistics on African countries onto the AfDB’s Open Data for Africa Platform. The Platform will function as a central hub for data-sharing with international development partners. In addition, the IMF and AfDB have formed a partnership to provide joint technical assistance to African countries to assist in their data submission and reporting.
The Open Data Platform takes statistics to a whole new level. Users can visualize time series development indicators, perform comprehensive analysis at country and regional levels, utilize presentation-ready templates or create their own visuals, blog, share their views and work with others. The website also provides new users with an introductory video on how maximize their use of the Open Data Platform, tailored to their own specific needs.
The AfDB initiative is expected to revolutionize the collection, analysis and sharing of information on Africa and so bring the continent to the forefront of the global information economy.