Cape Verde targets better statistics to prevent conflict

21 Jul 2014

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Cape Verde has become the first country in Africa to generate a single set of statistics on human rights, transparency, the rule of law, and governance.

The method is led by the African Union (AU), and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in partnership with the African Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).

The partners have been attempting to roll out the Strategy for the Harmonization of Statistics in Africa (SHaSA) to a number of countries across the continent, aiming to generate better indicators that will be used to spot early signs of conflict and prevent possible breakouts.

“To know how to interpret data is fundamental for national planning and conflict prevention, especially in areas like governance, peace and security, but few countries in Africa have an official monitoring system able to provide reliable data in a harmonized way,” said Adelaide Ribeiro, Head of the Population and Poverty Reduction Unit at UNDP, UNICEF and UNFPA’s Joint Office in Cabo Verde.

Twenty African countries have officially shown interest in adopting ShaSA, and eight are already implementing the methodology: Burundi, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, and Uganda.

"We pride ourselves on being the first country in Africa to generate these statistics in this way,” says the President of the NSI of Cabo verde, Antonio Duarte. “I trust this system will both reflect and bolster Cabo Verde’s standing as a leader in peace and good governance in Africa”.

“The harmonization of these statistics responds to some of the concerns and needs of national authorities and bodies, thereby seeking to fill the existing methodological gaps in relation to the justice and security sectors” adds Antonio Duarte.

Some of the statistics reveal that:

•    44.4 percent say the level of corruption in the country is "worrying", 33.8 percent find it "very worrying", 15.8 percent consider it "somewhat troubling" and only 5  think it is "not worrying."
•    50 and 60 percent say human rights are being respected in the country.
•    62.5 percent are satisfied with the country’s democracy. However 46.6 percent are “not interested" in politics.
•    The media is the most trusted institution (with an 83.3 percent approval rating), followed by the Army, (77.4 percent), the social security system (76 percent), the public health system (73.6 percent), the courts (68.3 percent) and the public service (66.6 percent).

In June this year, Cape Verde and Kenya shared shared their experience at a forum on regional statistical capacities, held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.