Why should it be the case that whenever we need reliable statistics or information on basically anything in Africa, it must come from the West or one of the UN agencies? In the case of education reliable statistics and information are patchy or quite difficult to get. Worse case scenarios are that many governments across the region massage figures or are simply too busy robbing from the people to care enough to collate up-to-date reliable information. There are many countries in the region that have no accurate figures, and absolutely no idea how many children are not in school. But how will they have – many of these countries have no accurate records of births and deaths and infant and child mortalities. Many of these figures are estimates derived from many sources. Many of the schools in these countries are staffed by ghost teachers and teachers without proper qualifications. How many countries (especially in sub-Saharan Africa) have reliable figures of unemployment (disaggregated) rates in their countries? If the figures they have cannot be relied upon, how then can a government plan properly for its people when it does not have dependable information to guide its budgeting and programs?
But let’s take the discussion further – think about it, shouldn’t the AU also be the bastion and repository for current and reliable information and data for all sorts of subject matter and programs in Africa? Shouldn’t anyone go to the website of the AU and by the click of a button get up-to-date, reliable information and data (no matter how ugly they look) on schools and education in Africa, or for other subject matter? Why should they rely on external information when the information is right on their doorstep? We know why. Like their masters that begot it, and like so many other issues about the AU reliable statistics is not important to our supranational organisation. But how can 2063 be a reality when the AU has not even got the basic things right? How can 2063 be a reality when the AU has no concrete plan for millions of its most valuable and vulnerable asset – it youths?
Welcome to AU Watch “Project Africa Education Portal.” More than any other region, Africa south of the Sahara is facing an uphill challenge in efforts to get all children and youth in school and learning by 2063. High quality regional and county level data will be critical as countries lay the groundwork to meet the ambitious targets of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) and the Education 2030 agenda.
AU Watch is stepping out and working to be the leading African organisation for gathering official data and statistics on a range of subject matter, whether it is a simple information of just counting schools in Somalia, or how counting the number of ‘hospitals’ in ‘The Gambia’, or some more complex data of knowing how many children are not in school. In collaboration with AU Watch Agenda 2063 Programme and its Sustainable Development Department our Education in Africa platform offers users a range of data and statistical products – from quick access to the latest available cross-nationally comparable indicators disaggregated by sex, to a selection of analytical publications, and a new series of country profiles presenting key indicators for each target of the global education goal. The project presents a unique series of indicators to reflect the schooling conditions across the region, such as access to clean water, electricity, textbooks and separate toilets for girls and boys. We are developing indicators in consultation with our Chapter to meet the regional need for more detailed information.
Can you help us? To learn more about AU Watch “Project Africa Education Portal” please Click Here. But get connected, Have your say. Discuss what Africa should look like in 2063. Share a multimedia and become a participant by logging on www.agenda2063.au-watch.org