Filling up the Gaps – Adapted from the Mo Ibrahim Data Revolution


There have been many developments across the African region over the past two-decades, significant strides have been taken to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and beyond. There still remains quite a number of aspects to achieve especially if we want regional integration to work in Africa. Integration has many benefits including significant multilateral economies of scale that can be realised to the benefit of Africa and her people. We could recite a lot of African proverbs on the theme of togetherness and working together to achieve a “common purpose”. Some intellectuals have trouble unpacking the “common purpose” but simply it’s a better life for all, harmony and growth, peace and development, food security, good health and sustainable education and so on.

A single bracelet does not jingle. ~ Congolese proverb

The key ingredient to achieving our dreams and aspiration in our lifetime, borrowing from the many developmental successes across the world, is working with a “common purpose” to sustainable growth and development. An element to the key ingredient is increasing our ability to know and share what we know about our rich continent with one another, especially the positive aspects that build and harmonise our socio-economics. The power of knowing or knowledge is made possible by increasing our data aggregation and data value add – this results in Africa focused information enabling out society to make better informed decisions from tiers of life.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is one shining example of an institution that has led the way to achieving the African data revolution in our lifetime. Having founded the Ibrahim Index on African Governance (IIAG) this seeks to work as a performance monitoring tool for our decision makers across the region, a catalyst to the development dialogue and a yardstick for actionable policies to achieve a sustainable growth and development for all of Africa’s citizens.

The foundation highlights the importance on the quality of data, meaning better data on counts of the population, as well as other data such as income; trends in growth; and enrolment ratios, which relies on this data for their estimates. Almost all Africans live in a country which has carried out a household survey in the past ten years. Yet only half live in a country which has carried out more than two comparable surveys, raising doubts around measuring, for example, changes in levels of poverty – Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 2016.

Ease of Access to data driven information will enable all active citizens ensuring the socio-economic environment is enabling for all, policy makers will be empowered to moot informed policies ensuring they speak to the needs inferred from the data and for economic players across the region to participate in the economic value addition process with adequate information.

Compiled by Positivity Global (Africa) – Adapted from MoIbrahim Data Revolution