Abuja, 7th August 2017 . With the support of Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), ECOWAS and the United Nation’s Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) are fashioning out a reliable statistical data base which can be customised for the planning of programmes by the ECOWAS Commission among others.

To this end, relevant experts and officials are gathered in Abuja for a five-Day training via the UNECA’s technical assistance programme towards the realisation of ECOWAS’ Statistical Portal (StatBase) which will help the Research and Statistics Directorate at the ECOWAS Commission to upgrade its web dissemination tools while birthing a new configuration that would provide access to the economic and social data of ECOWAS.

The Abuja on-site Mission is also meant to configure the technical facilities of the StatBase platform and to further build the capacities of the officers involved in its management while training the ECOWAS Commission staff on loading of data into StatBase and dissemination of collected data.

Specifically, it is designed to support the Commission by making StaBase platform operational on the ECOWAS website thus improving the administration and dissemination of ECOWAS data and providing adequate and regular information on Member States.

In addition, the training is expected to focus on the way ECA is disseminating the African data online and the configuration of the ECOWAS Portal apart from discussing the best ways of disseminating all documents and outputs of the Statistics and Research Directorate for public access.

Welcoming participants and declaring the meeting open on behalf of the ECOWAS Commissioner for Macro Economic Policy and Economic Research, the Director Research and Statistics Mahamadou Yahaya disclosed that the technical mission in Abuja involves the migration of the StatBase version 2 to a Data Portal that would provide online access to the data output of the Directorate of Research and Statistics that are compiled from the data collection process.

Stating that it is heart-warming that that capacity is now being built for the StatBase management, he noted that the UNECA Africa portal can be a window for ECOWAS to disseminate the statistics collected from the 15 Members States as well as “the aggregation compiled by the Directorate of Research and Statistics for the entire region.”

The UNECA Representative and Head, data technology section of the Commission’s African Centre for Statistics, Mr. Molla Asmare said at the start of the training that participants are out to develop a customised UNECA propelled statistical data base for optimal use by ECOWAS.

Bearing in mind that what the experts have on hand is a generic database, Molla noted that “Most planners and researchers lose valuable time searching for the right data to use” He adding that the training also opens up inexpensive means of disseminating data.

The training is holding on the heels of the 9th edition of the Africa Statistical Yearbook validation workshop which held in Lomé, Togo, from 15 to 17 March 2017 where a collaborative initiative between ECOWAS and UNECA on the StatBase platform was muted.