La Necessaria Rivoluzione Dei Dati In Africa

WASHINGTON, DC – Da quando si è introdotto il termine “rivoluzione dei dati”, vi è stato un turbinio di attività per definire, sviluppare e implementare un programma per la trasformazione della raccolta, l’utilizzo e la distribuzione degli indicatori di sviluppo. Questo ha un senso. La valutazione del prossimo programma di sviluppo della comunità internazionale, a prescindere dai suoi dettagli, sarà impossibile senza dati precisi.

Eppure, nell’Africa sub-sahariana – l’area con le maggiori potenzialità di progresso nell’ambito dei prossimi Obiettivi di Sviluppo Sostenibile – vi è una grave carenza di dati precisi. Dal 1990 al 2009, solo uno dei paesi sub-sahariani disponeva i dati riguardo a tutti i 12 indicatori stabiliti nel 2000 dai Millennium Development Goals. Infatti, dei 60 paesi in possesso di statistiche demografiche complete, nessuno è in Africa. Sebbene, nel corso dell’ultimo decennio, è probabile che la maggior parte dei paesi africani abbia sperimentato una fase di sviluppo economico, la precisione dei dati su cui si basano le stime di crescita - per non parlare dei dati sull’inflazione, la produzione alimentare, l’istruzione e i tassi di vaccinazione - è lungi dall’essere sufficiente.

I dati inesatti possono avere gravi conseguenze. Si consideri l’esperienza della Nigeria all’inizio di quest’anno, quando il PIL, calcolato su una nuova base, ha mostrato che l’economia era più grande di quasi il 90% rispetto a quanto si pensava in precedenza. L’immagine distorta dell’economia della Nigeria fornita dalle precedenti statistiche probabilmente ha portato a decisioni sbagliate in materia di investimenti privati, rating, e fiscalità. Inoltre, ha comportato che alla Nigeria sia stato attribuito un aiuto internazionale maggiore di quanto non meritasse - un aiuto che avrebbe potuto andare ai paesi più bisognosi.

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