Stronger data and evidence crucial for Africa’s policymakers

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, November 18, 2019 (ECA) - With stronger data and evidence, African governments and partners are better equipped to understand and plan for future risk and to monitor progress toward targets under development frameworks such as the 2030 Agenda for sustainable development and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

This was said Monday by Kafkas Caprazli of the Food and Agricultural Organisation at a seminar organized by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) to mark Africa Statistics Day in Addis Ababa under the theme; Everyone counts: quality statistics for better management of forced displacement in Africa.

Mr. Caprazli said strong data and evidence was also crucial for monitoring the progress of the Sendai Framework as well as the Paris 21 Climate Agreement.

The Sendai Framework is a 15-year, voluntary, non-binding agreement which recognizes that the State has the primary role to reduce disaster risk but that responsibility should be shared with other stakeholders including local government, the private sector and other stakeholders.

“Importantly they will also be in a better position to address displaced people’s needs,” said Mr. Caprazli, whose presentation was on linkages between migration, agriculture, food security and rural development.

He continued: “The challenges of data on forced migration are interlinked. A systemic approach that involves international standards and improves cooperation, coordination and data interoperability is vital if African governments and partners are to fully understand, prevent and address forced migration when policymaking, planning and risk reduction for achieving aspirations of the 2030 Agenda and 2063.

He said appropriate tools allow States to develop sustainable approaches to ending displacement.

“African Statistics Day is an opportunity to remind us that the priority for now is providing national and local authorities with the financial and technical capacity building support they need to apply them,” added Mr. Caprazli.

Edem Kossi Kludza, an Associate Statistician with the African Centre for Statistics at the Economic Commission for Africa, said nearly one person is forcibly displaced every three seconds on the continent as a result of conflict, violence and disasters.

“The main reasons of the displacements are conflict, armed conflict, war, violence, persecution, fear of reprisals, political uncertainty, bad governance, social injustice, human rights violations, lack of opportunities, natural disasters, climate change, health emergencies such as the Ebola outbreak, food insecurity and extreme poverty,” he said.

Mr. Kludza added that in 2018, every second refugee was a child (111,000), many alone and without their families. Uganda reported during the same year that 2,800 refugee children aged five or below in the country were alone, separated from their families.

Other presentations looked at the statistical measurement of internally displaced people, the importance of identification of refugees and displaced persons, and an economic perspective of forced displacement in the Sahel region.

Africa Statistics Day was marked under the theme; Everyone counts: quality statistics for better management of forced displacement in Africa, in line with the African Union’s 2019 theme: The year of refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons: Towards durable solutions to forced displacement in Africa.

The theme recognizes the need for Africa to address the main factors that lead to forced displacement, in particular conflicts and violence, natural disasters and climate change, food insecurity and extreme poverty, and social injustice and bad governance.

Issued by:

Communications Section
Economic Commission for Africa
PO Box 3001
Addis Ababa
Tel: +251 11 551 5826