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Tackling Data Gaps: Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s 2023 IIAG Report Offers Insights for Africa

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Mo Ibrahim Foundation

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) has unveiled its highly anticipated 2023 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) report in Accra, under the theme: “The Power of Data for Governance: Closing Data Gaps to Accelerate Africa’s Transformation.”

The report highlights the crucial connection between high-quality data and effective governance, making a compelling case for integrating sound data into Africa’s governance and development agendas.

Emphasizing data’s pivotal role in progress, government performance assessment, policy prioritization, and fostering trust in governments, the report draws from the 2022 IIAG dataset to reveal a positive correlation between access to high-quality statistics and effective governance across African countries from 2012 to 2021.

Despite strides made, the report underscores Africa as the continent most impacted by global data gaps, particularly in civil registration and vital statistics, hindering the definition of public policies.

Critical governance data gaps persist in areas such as health structures, the informal economy, the environment, violence against women, child labour, and illicit financial flows.

Globally, the underfunding of data remains a serious challenge, with just 0.34% of total Official Development Assistance (ODA) allocated to statistics, a figure that has nearly halved in Africa between 2018 and 2021.

The report calls for increased investment in data and outlines crucial strategies to enhance data impact and expedite development progress in Africa.

These include ensuring the independence of National Statistical Offices, utilizing alternative data sources like citizen-generated and private company data, and leveraging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and machine learning.

Mo Ibrahim, Founder and Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation emphasized the vital role of data in achieving Africa’s key development and policy agendas.

He stressed the urgency of closing data gaps to attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and proposed the idea of an SDG 0 – Sound Data for Governance.

During the report’s launch, co-hosted by Afrobarometer, Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s Communications Manager, Saymon Nascimento, reiterated the foundation’s commitment to emphasizing the critical importance of governance and leadership in Africa.

Joseph Asunka, the Chief Executive Officer of Afrobarometer, praised the partnership with the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, describing the IIAG Report as indispensable for any country’s progress and emphasizing the necessity to invest in data generation.

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