The African Development Bank Group will next week launch its new project, the Africa Information Highway (AIH), an ambitious program intending to install an integrated data dissemination system in all 54 African countries, nine regional and sub-regional organisations and six statistical training centres.
AfDB Statistics Division Manager, Kokil Beejaye, told Sunday Standard in an exclusive interview this week that following the African Union Summit of July 2012 that called upon the AfDB to support countries to develop effective data management and dissemination systems aimed at open access to official statistics, the group then initiated the project which is expected to be launched in South Africa this coming Monday.
Beejaye indicated that AFDB has long realised that over the years, many African countries have significantly scaled up their data collection efforts but challenges remained with regard to the timely dissemination of the data to users.
“Africa Information Highway (AIH) is a user-friendly project for extracting data; creating and sharing own customized reports, and visualising data across themes, sectors and countries in tables, charts and maps. Through the Platform, users can access a wide range of development data on African countries from multiple international and national official sources. This resource also facilitates the collection, analysis and sharing of data among countries and with international development partners.” Beejaye said.
Sunday Standard understands that the platform offers a unique opportunity for various users, such as policymakers, analysts, researchers, business leaders and investors around the world, to gain access to reliable and timely data on Africa.
“Users can visualise time series development indicators over a period of time, perform comprehensive analysis at country and regional levels, utilize presentation-ready graphics or create their own, blog, and share their views and work with others, thereby creating an informed community of users.”
Once launched, the Africa Information Highway (AIH), which Botswana will subscribe to, will be used by African countries for all data submission flows to the AfDB and possibly other international development partners, including the International Monetary Fund (IMF), EU Commission, World Health Organization (WHO), UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), African Union Commission (AUC) and UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).