African Governments urged to integrate statistics and geospatial information for sustainable development


The Regional Committee of the United Nations Global Geospatial Information Management in Africa (UN-GGIM: Africa) ended Thursday with experts urging African leaders to prioritize dialogues that need to take place to ensure national statistical, planning and mapping authorities collaborated effectively in the development of respective data infrastructures and systems on the continent.

This, they said, would encourage a potential unification of national statistical offices and national mapping authorities bringing shared benefits to both offices.

Delegates noted that for Africa to effectively implement the SDG and 2063 agendas, decision makers needed to recognize that an in-depth knowledge of links among people, economic activities and geographic locations could promote a deeper understanding of key social, economic and environmental issues than is possible through an assessment of socioeconomic data alone.

They recommended that UN-GGIM: Africa be established as an overarching governance framework in the field of geospatial information management, science and technology to ensure it has the capacity to adopt policies and strategic actions to address issues of particular relevance to Africa and also ensure that national bodies are capable of addressing Africa’s unique concerns.

Participants called on the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the African Union Commission (AUC) and other pan-African institutions to work collaboratively in promoting and advocating the importance of geospatial information in the achievement of sustainable development objectives at national, regional and international levels. Also of crucial importance is the promotion of trade and regional integration.

The ECA and UN-GGIM: Africa were urged to continue the development of the African spatial statistical framework and guidelines for geo-enabling national strategies for the development of statistics.

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Participants took note of their partners’ statistical capacity-building programs and recommended that they foster synergies and coordinate actions in support of national statistical systems in financial, technical and human resources.

Delegates were drawn from member States with experts in the field from the continent and beyond also in attendance.