The Data for Governance Alliance (D4GA) series of regional stakeholder engagements ended on a high note in Nairobi, with Amb. Salah Hammad, Head of the African Union (AU) African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, underscoring the importance of the data in shaping policies.
“As we go with this process of building the Africa we want, data has become extremely
important in making policies and decisions that are in favour of building the continent, and
also promoting good governance, democracy, and the rule of law,” he told participants at
the European Union- funded D4GA convening.
The convening focuses on equipping panAfrican CSOs with data-driven tools and knowledge to collaborate effectively with the African Union’s African Governance Architecture and national governments.
“The Data for Governance Alliance stakeholder convening coincides with the African
Union’s efforts to strengthen democracy and good governance, and we are benefitting
from all the knowledge and skills that this partnership provides,” Amb. Hammad said.
The stakeholder engagement in Nairobi, the final in a series of regional convenings in 2023,
offered hands-on training in data analysis, data-based advocacy and effective
communications to pan-African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Themed “Enhancing
governance, democracy, and human rights in Africa: Empowering pan-African civil society
to effectively use data to enhance advocacy.
In his keynote address, Brian Kagoro, Managing Director of Programmes at Open Society
Foundations urged participants to champion data-driven policies in Africa.
“Policies in Africa should be evidence- and data-driven. Data is key in controlling the
narrative and direction of policy debate.
We cannot continue relying on data generated outside the continent. It is time for Africa to generate its own data,” Karogo said.
Participants engaged with the Afrobarometer online data analysis tool and the AfricanLii
platform that houses thousands of African Union legal documents. This practical experience
has informed advocacy campaigns addressing critical issues, including youth
empowerment, climate change, unconstitutional changes of government, elections, and
Karuti Kanyinga, Director of the Institute for Development Studies, charged the CSO
representatives to leverage good quality data to enhance their advocacy efforts.
“We have data that speak very good realities about Africa, and we need to use them to
appeal to the conscience of our leaders in order for them to make choices and better
interventions on governance, development, democracy and human rights,” he urged.
The convening brought together representatives from pan-African CSOs and four African
Union organs – the African Peer Review Mechanism, the African Union Advisory Board
Against Corruption, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and the
Economic, Social and Cultural Council. This year, the D4GA has trained a total of 60 CSO
representatives in data analysis and advocacy in South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya.