The World Bank today approved $460 million in International Development Association (IDA) credits and grants* to improve and harmonize data systems in eight West African countries and three regional organizations .The project Harmonization and improvement of statistics in West and Central Africa (PHASAOC)phase 1, aims to strengthen statistical capacities in order to improve the quality of data production, regional harmonization, data access and use, as well as the modernization of statistical systems at the Benign, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal and Gambia. It will also support the statistical divisions of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UEMOA) and the African Union (AU) to better coordinate and improve the harmonization of statistics across the region.
This new project will improve evidence-based decision-making, resource allocation, accountability and transparency in a region with more than 120 million people living in extreme poverty.“Accurate, timely and reliable data and statistics are essential for designing, implementing and monitoring effective development policies and programs to accelerate poverty reduction, promote equitable growth and combat economic change. change,” said Boutheina Guermazi, World Bank Regional Integration Director for Africa and the Middle East. “Quality data, comparable across countries, is also key to fostering regional economic integration and accelerating growth.”
Although considerable efforts have been made to improve statistical capacity in sub-Saharan Africa, progress has been slow and uneven across countries. Most countries in West and Central Africa currently rank among the bottom 40% performers globally according to the World Bank’s new Statistical Performance Indicators (SPIs), which assess system capacity a country’s statistics to meet user needs and contribute to improved decision-making.
The availability of high quality statistics is essential for the successful implementation of poverty reduction strategies, economic progress and development results.
“Modern and efficient statistical systems producing high quality data are essential to improve lives and livelihoods. Ce ambitious and innovative regional project will be a game-changer in transforming the data landscape in West African economies and for their people,” said Johan A. Mistiaen, World Bank Practice Director for Equitable Growth, Finance and institutions for West Africa.
The management of the World Bank wished to thank the extended and multidisciplinary team of statisticians, economists and other specialists who developed and brought to the approval of the Board of Directors this project in record time over the months, for their tireless efforts.
A second phase of PHASAOC currently in preparation will cover Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, Gabon and the Republic of Congo.
the IDA in question…
The International Development Association (IDA) is the World Bank’s fund for the poorest. Established in 1960, it provides grants and loans at low or no interest rates for projects and programs that stimulate economic growth, reduce poverty and improve the living conditions of the poor. IDA is a leading source of aid to the world’s 76 poorest countries, 39 of which are in Africa. IDA resources help bring about positive change in the lives of the 1.6 billion people living in IDA-eligible countries. Since its inception, IDA has supported the development of 113 countries. Annual commitments are steadily increasing and have averaged $21 billion over the past three years, of which about 61% is for Africa.