UN launches Africa’s online data platform for sustainable development

A group of the United Nations (UN) regional bodies have launched the first online data portal which showcases the progress that all African countries make on sustainable development goals (SDGs).

Under the Africa Regional Collaborative Platform (RCP), 17 regional UN entities on Monday unveiled the Africa UN Data for Development Platform, according to a joint press statement dispatched through the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) on Tuesday 14th, September 20121.

The first-ever platform brings together statistical data across the continent, ensuring easy measuring and evaluating of the progress on SDGs in Africa. It will serve as a one-stop-shop repository that captures high-quality data and evidence from all the African countries.

It is also the first of its kind to raise the profile of statistical progress towards the African Union (AU) vision of Agenda 2063, which seeks to see a prosperous and peaceful Africa by 2063.

“With barely nine years left to achieve the SDGs, making use of common and harmonized data is essential to accelerate progress,” said Assistant Secretary-General Ahunna Eziakonwa, Director of the Regional Bureau for Africa at the UN Development Programme.

The new data portal looks into the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and breaks them down into their 169 targets and 231 indicators, allowing everyone to track progress at the granular level.

The platform enables carrying out in-depth analyses and progress assessments at the target and indicator levels, and link them with national development plans, according to Malawi’s Vice President, Saulos Chilima.

The new data engine also gives users the ability to classify the statistics by various dimensions, such as the eight regional economic communities recognized by AU, least developed countries, landlocked developing nations, and oil-producing, mineral-rich states.

It also repackages the data by key thematic issues, whereby users can categorize SDG indicators by agriculture, energy and health, allowing them to not only analyze the specific progress at the country level but also examine the convergence, similarities and differences among a variety of sub-regional blocs and topics.

The platform will open to all users, including policymakers, planners, program managers, development partners, private sector organizations, civil society groups, academic institutions, researchers, students, media outlets and many others.

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