Experts Discuss Data Revolution in North Africa, Call for Assistance
Photo by Markus Spiske
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UNECA's Office for North Africa organized the 33rd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts.

Participants examined the region’s data ecosystem, current requirements for high quality statistical data, protocols governing data, and the role of new technologies vis-à-vis SDG implementation and the African Union Agenda 2063.

New areas of intervention included the status of the blue economy in North Africa and a comparative analysis of the integration of migration in national development policies in North Africa.

2 November 2018: The UN Economic Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) Office for North Africa organized the 33rd Session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on the theme, ‘Data Revolution in North Africa: Using data in support of structural transformation.’

The Committee meets annually as a statutory body of the UNECA Office for North Africa, and consists of member country representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Sudan and Tunisia. At the meeting convened from 30 October to 2 November 2018, in Tunis, Tunisia, UNECA Director for North Africa Lilia Hachem Naas emphasized that the data revolution is “real and must be harnessed to support [North Africa’s] structural transformation initiatives.”

Participants examined the region’s data “ecosystem,” current requirements for high-quality statistical data, protocols governing data, and the role of new technologies. An Expert Group Meeting held in tandem with the Committee’s session considered the data needed to implement and monitor progress on the SDGs and the African Union’s (AU) Agenda 2063. A special session during the meeting provided an opportunity for participants to share their thoughts on and contributions towards implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). New areas of intervention discussed during the Committee session included the status of the blue economy in North Africa, and a comparative analysis of the integration of migration in national development policies in North Africa.

Participants at the meeting urged UNECA to provide technical assistance to improve their countries’ statistical systems, requested UNECA assistance in the AfCFTA ratification process, and requested that the Commission produce a North Africa regional profile on the SDGs.

Recommendations from the meeting will be presented at the UNECA Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, convening in March 2019 in Morocco. Additionally, a draft of the first-ever report on SDG achievement in the Maghreb was discussed at the meeting.

Ahead of the meeting, on 24 October, a brochure previewing the second Africa Data Revolution Report was launched at the UN World Data Forum in Dubai, UAE. [UNECA story] [UNECA meeting page] [Meeting agenda] [UNECA news] [SDG Knowledge Hub story on Maghreb SDG report]


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