Theme: Modernizing national statistical systems to provide data and statistics to support sustainable peace and development in Africa
African Statistics Day is an annual event celebrated on 18 November to raise public awareness of the importance of statistics in all aspects of social and economic life. The theme this year is “Modernizing national statistical systems to provide data and statistics to support sustainable peace and development in Africa”, which is in tandem with the theme of the African Union for the year 2020, “Silencing the guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development”. The theme for African Statistics Day in 2020 was chosen to raise awareness among decision-makers, technical and financial partners, data producers, researchers and the general public about the critical importance of governance and socioeconomic statistics in achieving the goal of a conflict-free Africa. Peace, security and socioeconomic development must be pursued simultaneously to make “silencing the guns” a reality across the continent.
Building a peaceful Africa requires statistics and data
The contribution of statistics to peace goes beyond counting the sorrows caused by conflict. Statistics can be used to create the conditions that are conductive to Africa’s development. Governance, peace and security statistics are fundamental to ensuring that the relationship between the State and its people is inclusive, transparent and accountable. They can also contribute to the prevention and management of conflict and violence. When used as early-warning systems, they can help to foster peace by regularly providing information on the status of State-society relations, which lie at the centre of sustainable peace.
Modernization is needed in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have a severely negative impact on the realization of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Agenda 2063, by reversing the gains achieved in a number of areas and exacerbating already high levels of inequality within and among countries. The pandemic has revealed weaknesses in many systems, including the limitations of traditional methods of collecting data and statistics.
National statistical systems, in particular national statistics offices, have been overwhelmed by requests for data, statistical services and information. They must modernize by using new technologies and new data sources to maximize efficiency, so as to provide the data and statistics that are necessary to support sustainable development and peaceful coexistence in Africa.
More funding is required for statistical activities
Sustainable Development Goals data availability is weak on the continent, especially on Goal 16, which concerns peace, justice and strong institutions. Among the main reasons for not regularly producing such statistics at the national level were a lack of funding, a low level of political support for the production of governance statistics, and inadequate institutional capacity and accountability.
More sustainable public funding should be allocated to national statistical systems in Africa for the regular production of core statistics relating to sustainable peace and development, with a view to keeping society and government well informed in that regard.
Morocco NSO celebrating the World Statistics Day 2020 video
Morocco's website for the WSD is available at http://jms2020.hcp.ma/