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Mo Ibrahim: How to Spend $10 Billion in Africa
When the Wall Street Journal asked ten philanthropists and executives how they would spend $10 billion to make the world better, they got plenty of good ideas. But to my mind, one was clearly the winner. Mo Ibrahim, the telecom mogul, offered a deceptively simple - and immensely valuable - idea: "Establish a statistics office in Africa." Why?
- Africa's needs and potential are vast, while means are scarce. This necessitates efficiency, which is dependent on an ability to define aims, and to measure them, in order to assess results. In short, good governance.
- This does not happen at the moment. The lack of comprehensive and reliable statistics inhibits all stakeholders, whether civil society, governments or donors.
- So, I would use the $10 billion to fund the development of national or regional statistics offices. They would improve data collection and dissemination to ensure public access to, and sophisticated application of, these data.