African Statistical Yearbook 2009

image of African Statistical Yearbook 2009

The 2009 African Statistical Yearbook, the first issue of a series, is a result of joint efforts by major African regional organizations to set up a join data collection mechanism of socioeconomic data on African countries as well as the development of a common harmonized database. It is expected that the joint collection and sharing of data between regional institutions will promote wider use of country data, reduce costs and significantly improve the quality of the data and lead to better monitoring of development initiatives on the continent. The data in this issue of the Yearbook are arranged generally for the years 2000 to 2008 or for the last eight years for which data are available. The Yearbook is published in one volume consisting of two parts: a set of summary tables followed by country profiles.

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Timely and reliable statistics are considered essential for evidence-based policy and decision-making and for better support to policy implementation, monitoring progress and evaluation of outcomes and impacts of development initiatives such as the Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs), the new Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These initiatives have accordingly resulted in an unprecedented increase in demand for statistics as policy makers and other stakeholders seek information on national and international developments. This increased demand has been accompanied by a new culture championing rigorous monitoring and evaluation of outcomes and evidence-based policy decisions. Indeed critical to achievement of development results is the ability to measure and closely monitor them. This is in line with the commitment made by developing countries, including those in Africa, to managing for results.

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