26 February 2014

Cameroon Gets Online Statistics Portal

The innovation, conceived thanks to NIS and AfDB, was launched in Yaounde on February 26, 2014. Internet users within and without Cameroon can now access online the country's harmonized statistics from desired sectors. This is through an innovation, "Cameroon Statistical Data Portal," which gives online access to various data, information and publications from the country's statistical database.

It was launched in Yaounde on February 26 in a ceremony chaired by the Resident Representative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), Racine Kane, and the Director General of the National Institute of Statistics (NIS), Joseph Tedou.

It is an initiative of AfDB developed in response to the increasing demand for statistical data and indicators relating to African countries. Speaking during the ceremony, stakeholders said, the portal provides multiple customised tools to gather indicators, analyze them, and export them into multiple formats. "With the data portal, you can visualize socio-economic indicators over a period of time, gain access to presentation-ready graphics and perform comprehensive analysis on a country and regional level," Racine Kane said.

"AfDB has given the expertise to the country in order to build this portal for an open data that can be accessed by every citizen. Our expectations are that this portal would not only be used by university researchers but by policy-makers and development partners as well," Racine Kane said.

Like him, Joseph Tedou noted that the gateway offers users the opportunity for data search, maps, dashboards through which users can represent and compare key Cameroon indicators using maps and charts, data analysis as well as carry out bulk download.

Responding to questions on who feeds and updates the portal with viable data so as to move away from the current situation where data is either non-existent for some sectors of the economy or are outmoded where they exist, Joseph Tedou said, there is a restricted team of experts working on it but that all stakeholders in statistical issues would need to work together to provide up-to-date data.

Even though there are sectors whose statistics have a periodicity for gathering like the population census (ten years), the Director General of NIS pledged the institute's willingness to work with other administrations not only to harmonise statistics given out but also to ensure that easily gathered data is loaded on the portal for use by all.

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