The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) has launched a continental tool that offers a unique view of price variations in African countries.
It was learnt that the virtual launch was attended by several finance ministers, economic development experts, and representatives of national statistics offices from across Africa.
Development Diaries understands that the aim of this initiative is to bring the prices and exchange rates of all African countries into one platform that is readily accessible to citizens, decisionmakers and other stakeholders.
The Executive Secretary of UNECA, Vera Songwe, said, ‘The role of national statistics offices and national revenue authorities in ensuring the platform has timely, accurate and up-to-date data will be crucial’, while the Vice President of Ghana, Mahamudu Bawumia, said that this one-stop-shop for finding data would go a long way to increase ECA’s relevance in Africa.
‘We need data on price movements to gauge how changes in consumer prices alone may be affecting the trends in income distribution, poverty levels, and inequalities’, the vice president added.
It was learnt that the price level data will enable cross country comparisons, understanding of regional markets, and the competitiveness of producers across Africa.
Bawumia urged African governments to invest in ICT infrastructure and digital data collection tools, just as he called on heads of national statistical offices to work with the ECA in transforming the continental statistical systems.
Photo source: Max Barners