Ouagadougou — A session of public education on the African Social Development Index (ASDI) and the African Gender and Development Index (AGDI), was held on Thursday, October 29, 2015, at the Palm Beach Hotel in Ouagadougou under the auspices of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). This session was run by three ECA experts, Mr. Florent MELESSE, Economic Affairs Officer at the Sub-Regional Office for West Africa, Mrs. Iris MACCULI and Mrs. Ngone DIOP, Economic Affairs Officer and Chief Advisor on Gender at the Division of Social Development Policies. The audience for this session was made up of varied capacities, notably the executives of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), representatives of research institutes and universities, experts in statistical techniques, as well as representatives of civil society and the media.
Concerning the ASDI, Mrs. Macculi who made the presentation on the development and evaluation of this index indicated that it is "a tool for measuring inclusive development in Africa which aims to assess the extent of human exclusion in five key areas of well-being which are health, education, employment, income and lifestyle, by adopting an approach which considers the entire life cycle. In particular, the emphasis is placed on the effects that social, economic, institutional and cultural factors have on exclusion".
For Mrs. Diop, the AGDI is "an important development planning tool which permits the measurement of gender inequities and enables the assessment of government performance to bridge the gaps. She added that it "was developed by the ECA in order to respond to the absence of statistics in African states that could enable them to implement their international and regional commitments on gender equality and the empowerment of women".
The discussions which followed the presentations in particular enabled participants to express their gratitude to the ECA for its determination to develop indices that are authentically African and which enable States and the Regional Economic Institutions to monitor and evaluate their economic and social development policies. The participants also spoke on various aspects of their presentations.
Thus, for Mr. Daniel Kaboré, Executive Director of the Center for the Analysis of Economic and Social Policy (CAPES) of Burkina Faso, "in contrast to what certain indices have provided, those of the ECA represent a real source of inspiration and are appreciated for their relevance and their originality. They are practical, prescriptive and analytical".
For its part, Mrs. Wetta Euphrasie of the Ministry of Health added that "Burkina Faso finds itself through these indices, which constitute reliable documents that it can use and adapt to ensure its true development".
Reacting in turn, Mr. Koita Aly of the Liptako Gourma Integrated Development Authority (ALG) underlined that "these two indices are interesting in terms of the assessment of development for the countries of the ALG and all of Africa should get involved in these initiatives that generate progress".
For Mr. Sacko Bakary, Chief Statistician of the WAEMU data Center, "My institution has benefited from training on these indices for three days. It will work ceaselessly to popularize them among States".
It should be noted that in prior to these presentations, Mr. Melesse, made a presentation on the country profiles of the ECA. He particularly stressed the importance of the procedures for the collection and validation of data, as well as the strengthening the collaboration among the ECA, the country teams and the regional economic communities.
In addition, Mr. Melesse in his closing address for the public education session, reaffirmed "the availability of the ECA to provide its contribution for an improved implementation of these precious indices for States and Regional Economic Institutions of West Africa".
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