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‘SSA must embrace data, others to achieve SDGs’

Countries in sub- Sahara Africa (SSA) have been urged to strive for improvements in the areas of data aggregation, developmental techniques and empowerment of people to enable them meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the region by 2030.

A Partner at Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Tolu Oyekan, made the call while highlighting the challenges that are hindering development in SSA countries and proffering possible solutions to address the numerous problems in the region. Oyekan said: “The UN has set a target of 2030 to reach the SDGs and, in effect, eliminate the developmental obstacles to growth and minimum livelihoods that hold back SSA and other countries around the world. For SSA, that is an ambitious deadline.” He, however, suggested that for SSA countries to meet the set target, various governments and citizens must gather more and better data and utilise them more effectively.

Oyekan added that the governments must also increase and adjust the developmental techniques they employ to ensure they sufficiently address local concerns and issues while taking advantage of existing best practices, even from other disciplines. He said SSA must enlarge the tent to bring a wider and more diverse group of people into the design and implementation process.

The BCG partner emphasised that when effectively used, data, developmental techniques and human capital could help SSA countries achieve meaningful developmental gains, thereby making the region more competitive. According to him, statistics indicate that the region has an alarming poverty rate as about 40 per cent of sub-Saharan Africa, or over 400 million people, live on less than $1.90 a day, defined as the extreme-poverty line. He, however, stressed that good data from the SSA region was mandatory as that will enable the people underrstand the prevailing challenges and conditions; and can also be used as a yardstick in comparing SSA countries with other countries of the world.

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