Liberia: AU Hammad Underscores Critical Role of D4GA data training in Driving Agenda 2063

The Data for Governance Alliance (D4GA) series of regional stakeholder engagements  ended on a high note in Nairobi, with Amb. Salah Hammad, Head of the African Union (AU)  African Governance Architecture (AGA) Secretariat, underscoring the importance of the data in shaping policies. 

“As we go with this process of building the Africa we want, data has become extremely  important in making policies and decisions that are in favour of building the continent, and  also promoting good governance, democracy, and the rule of law,” he told participants at  the European Union- funded D4GA convening. The convening focuses on equipping pan African CSOs with data-driven tools and knowledge to collaborate effectively with the  African Union’s African Governance Architecture and national governments.  

“The Data for Governance Alliance stakeholder convening coincides with the African  Union’s efforts to strengthen democracy and good governance, and we are benefitting  from all the knowledge and skills that this partnership provides,” Hammad said. 

The stakeholder engagement in Nairobi, the final in a series of regional convenings in 2023,  offered hands-on training in data analysis, data-based advocacy and effective  communications to pan-African Civil Society Organizations (CSOs). Themed "Enhancing  governance, democracy, and human rights in Africa: Empowering pan-African civil society  to effectively use data to enhance advocacy. 

In his keynote address, Brian Kagoro, Managing Director of Programmes at Open Society  Foundations urged participants to champion data-driven policies in Africa. 

“Policies in Africa should be evidence- and data-driven. Data is key in controlling the  narrative and direction of policy debate. We cannot continue relying on data generated  outside the continent. It is time for Africa to generate its own data,” Karogo said. 

Participants engaged with the Afrobarometer online data analysis tool and the AfricanLii  platform that houses thousands of African Union legal documents. This practical experience  has informed advocacy campaigns addressing critical issues, including youth  empowerment, climate change, unconstitutional changes of government, elections, and  child welfare. 

Karuti Kanyinga, Director of the Institute for Development Studies, charged the CSO  representatives to leverage good quality data to enhance their advocacy efforts.

“We have data that speak very good realities about Africa, and we need to use them to  appeal to the conscience of our leaders in order for them to make choices and better  interventions on governance, development, democracy and human rights,” he urged. 

The convening brought together representatives from pan-African CSOs and four African  Union organs – the African Peer Review Mechanism, the African Union Advisory Board  Against Corruption, the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, and the  Economic, Social and Cultural Council. This year, the D4GA has trained a total of 60 CSO  representatives in data analysis and advocacy in South Africa, Ghana, and Kenya 

The Data for Governance Alliance is a four-year project that promotes data-based  advocacy and engagement between pan-African civil society organisations (CSOs) and  African Union organs. The project is led by Afrobarometer with partners including the Center  for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), the Institute for Development Studies at the  University of Nairobi, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation, and Laws.Africa. The project  is funded by the European Union.