African Data platform launched to challenge Global development community for accuracy of Data

“The African continent deserves better and more accurate data”

London August 2015 (ACCUR8DATA) – A group of prominent African leaders in the field of data and innovation from Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Rwanda and Senegal announced the launch of the Accur8Africa platform to improve the accuracy of data in the continent before the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in New York this coming September at the 70th United Nation General Assembly.

Accur8Africa is pushing for an African data revolution where data could be harnessed to impact on planning and decision making in the next fifteen years, as we believe that accuracy of data remains a non-negotiable necessity for the continent. To illustrate the problem of data accuracy in Africa, one may ponder the growing doubts over basic population statistics in Africa, with more data scientists casting doubts on even the current continental estimate of 1.13 billion people or how “89% of Zambians women overwhelmingly support domestic violence and corporate punishment as suggested and corrected by a survey platform”. Typically, census and surveys data should be one of the easiest categories of data to get right and firm.

Accur8Africa recognizes that nothing less than a data revolution is required now in Africa from national censuses to African Economic Outlooks. To achieve this, we are working with partners to support the innovative capacities of statistical institutions across Africa and encouraging the use of data-driven decisions alongside better development metrics for key sectors such as gender equality, climate change, equity social inclusion, entrepreneurship and health. The revolution will be digitized.

In 2015, as we gear up for the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, the
necessity of accurate data is more pertinent than ever. The post – 2015 goals aim to fight poverty, improve health, increase gender equality, and protect the environment. Nothing less then the earth’s future is at risk. But none of these goals will be achievable without the necessary accurate data.

During the transition from the Millennium Development goals into the Sustainable
Development Goals (SDGs), Senegalese Development Activist Marieme Jamme launches
Accur8Africa, a platform aiming to transform the Data Ecosystem of Africa by supporting governments, the private sector, and civil society organizations in building local capacity. For data to be useful to civilians, policymakers, businesses, civil society and other stakeholders, accuracy in data is crucial. Rather than focusing on merely collecting more inaccurate data, Accur8Africa calls for a continental Data Revolution, training of the African Data Scientists and analysts and pushing for a better collaboration in the Data Ecosystem.

The international development community’s claim that poverty has been eradicated in the Global South remains largely unquantifiable. Certainly no region in the world is on track to meet all the millennium development goals, while many African nations will not have achieved any. As a continent we have fallen behind in producing complete, consistent, and accurate data for decades thanks to Lack of investment, poor infrastructure, insufficient Data experts, data literacy and the interference of development partners exporting Data for their various reports. This chronic lack of accurate data results in inadequate policy-making, and accountability, which is in turn, exacerbated by a lack of clear monitoring and evaluation frameworks the African deserves. This results in an inability to assess the true success, or indeed failure of policy-making which is hurting Africa.

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Launching 4pm on August 6th at ThoughtWorks 76-78 Wardour Street, Soho, London W1F 0UR, Soho, London UK.