Director Oliver Chinganya of the ECA’s African Centre for Statistics says the Flash is a one-stop shop document that will provide an understanding of what is going on in Africa at a glimpse. Areas covered include price levels, the consumer price index, population, life expectancy and related issues.
He said the Flash will look at a different country of the 54-member states every month. First to be featured by the Africa Statistical Flash are the 13 fastest growing African economies which are the drivers of Africa’s GDP, among which are Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.
“We will be collecting, analyzing and making inference from the data and producing the Flash in French and English on a monthly basis,” said Mr. Chinganya.
The African Centre for Statistics has as its core mandate, to collect and disseminate credible African data. According to Chinganya, if an investor or researcher picks up the Africa Statistical Flash, he or she “will quickly be able to form an opinion on whether the continent is moving in the direction that is expected and be informed of the GDP growth rate for that period of time. The Flash provides information on livelihoods, life expectancy, mortality rates, trade and related issues and offers key trends that researchers can use to predict the future.
Among other areas of comparative analysis, the Africa Statistical Flash will provide information on trade between Africa’s sub-regions, for example Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) versus the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The ECA is using focal points in all the 54 member States to collect, analyze and package the data for dissemination through the Africa Statistical Flash. It is also informed by other quality data sources.
“We have now populated about 80 percent of the database; we are still cleaning it up before we can share it with the public.”
“If we are going to be that one stop-shop for critical data on Africa, we need to have credible data that can be used not only by us but also our member States; together with our partners, we aim to create our African Statistics Database,” said Mr. Chinganya of efforts by the ECA, the African Union and the African Development Bank to create a robust African Statistics Database.