Director, Oliver Chinganya, of the ECA's African Centre for Statistics, says the Flash is a one-stop shop document that will provide an understanding of what is going on in Africa at a glimpse. Areas covered include price levels, the consumer price index, population, life expectancy and related issues.
He said the Flash will look at a different country of the 54-member States every month. First to be featured by the Africa Statistical Flash are the 13 fastest growing African economies which are the drivers of Africa's GDP, among them Ethiopia, Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Ghana.
"We will be collecting, analysing and making inference from the data and producing the Flash in French and English on a monthly basis," said Chinganya.
The African Centre for Statistics has as its core mandate, to collect and disseminate credible African data. According to Chinganya, if an investor or researcher picks up the Africa Statistical Flash, he or she "will quickly be able to form an opinion on whether the Continent is moving in the direction that is expected and be informed of the GDP growth rate for that period of time. The Flash provides information on livelihoods, life expectancy, mortality rates, trade and related issues and offers key trends that researchers can use to predict the future.
Among other areas of comparative analysis, the Africa Statistical Flash will provide information on trade between Africa's sub-regions, for example Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) versus the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The ECA is using focal points in all the 54 member States to collect, analyse and package the data for dissemination through the Africa Statistical Flash. It is also informed by other quality data sources.
"We have now populated about 80% of the database; we are still cleaning it up before we can share it with the public."
"If we are going to be that one stop-shop for critical data on Africa, we need to have credible data that can be used not only by us but also our member States; together with our partners, we aim to create our African Statistics Database," said Chinganya of efforts by the ECA, the African Union and the African Development Bank to create a robust African Statistics Database.
Established by the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations (UN) in 1958 as one of the UN's five regional commissions, ECA's mandate is to promote the economic and social development of its member States, foster intra-regional integration, and promote international cooperation for Africa's development.
Made up of 54 member States, and playing a dual role as a regional arm of the UN and as a key component of the African institutional landscape, ECA is well positioned to make unique contributions to address the Continent’s development challenges.