A revolução de dados necessária em África

WASHINGTON, DC – Desde que foi introduzido o termo "revolução de dados", houve uma profusão de acções no sentido de definir, desenvolver e aplicar um programa de transformação em matéria de recolha, utilização e distribuição dos dados estatísticos relativos ao desenvolvimento. Trata-se de uma opção lógica. Sem dados precisos, não será possível avaliar a próxima agenda de desenvolvimento da comunidade internacional, independentemente das suas particularidades.

No entanto, na África Subsariana, a região que apresenta o maior potencial em termos de progresso no quadro dos futuros Objectivos de Desenvolvimento Sustentável, existe uma enorme deficiência a nível de dados exactos. Entre 1990 e 2009, apenas um país da região subsariana dispunha de dados relativos aos 12 indicadores estabelecidos em 2000 nos Objectivos do Milénio. Na verdade, nenhum dos 60 países com estatísticas vitais completas pertence ao continente africano. Embora a maioria dos países africanos tenha provavelmente registado um crescimento económico durante a última década, a exactidão dos dados em que se baseiam as estimativas de crescimento (para não mencionar os dados relativos à inflação, à produção de alimentos, à educação e às taxas de vacinação) está longe de ser adequada.

A utilização de dados incorrectos pode ter consequências graves. Considere-se a situação ocorrida da Nigéria no início deste ano, quando a alteração da base do PIB indicou um crescimento da economia quase 90% superior ao que inicialmente se pensava. A imagem distorcida da economia nigeriana apresentada pela estatística anterior resultou possivelmente na tomada decisões erróneas nos domínios do investimento privado, das notações de crédito e da aplicação de impostos. Além disso, isto significa também que a Nigéria beneficiou de mais ajuda internacional do que a merecida. Uma ajuda que poderia ter sido concedida a países mais necessitados.

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