1.3.1 Achievements and strengths
AFRISTAT has made undisputed progress since it went operational on 2 January 1996 as outlined in the study on the future of this organisation1 that sought to propose a clear vision and strategic choices for the period 2006-2015, especially in respect of AFRISTAT objectives, role, institutional organisation and priority intervention areas.
Hence, the review of AFRISTAT, conducted by two consulting firms commissioned by the European Commission (EUROSTAT) and French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the achievements of this organisation in operational and management issues.
This report establishes that the four objectives of AFRISTAT have been fully met since the launching of the organisation and that, they need to be enhanced. Such objectives include harmonization of concepts and methods, support to statistical production and dissemination as well as strengthening institutional capcities and development policy support.
The decline of national statistical systems noted throughout the 1980s has been been reversed and statistical activities have been revitalized in Member States. Significant achievements have been recorded at varying degrees in the following areas: organisation of statistical systems, national accounts, consumer price indices, household living conditions and poverty surveys, as well as the dissemination of statistical information.
AFRISTAT played an active role in these achievements by providing quality expertise to Member States and sub-regional economic institutions and contributing, through its conceptual and methodological studies and technical assistance, to harmonizing national statistics in the context of fast tracking regional integration. Today, the organisation is a pool of expertise and centre of excellence in statistical capacity-building in sub-Saharan Africa.
The review also portrayed the management of the AFRISTAT Fund as highly flexible and efficient while its funding mechanism also emerged as efficient and successful albeit a few inadequacies that need to be corrected. It enabled the organisation to operate satisfactorily. AFRISTAT thus earned adequate visibility to carry through its annual work programme.
The performance of AFRISTAT in the first phase of its activities has bestowed recognition on the institution as a technical and management model. It is recognized and consulted on a permanent basis by Member States and donors for the implementation of programmes and projects in many sub-Sahara African states. These constitute its strengths.
AFRISTAT has become an indispensable link between NSS, a clear indication of full ownership of the organisation by its Member States. A good number of international, regional and sub-regional institutions have benefited from close ties with AFRISTAT thereby establishing its reputation as a pool of expertise and centre of excellence for statistical capacity-building in sub-Saharan Africa.
1.3.2 Difficulties, inadequacies and/or weaknesses
AFRISTAT witnessed some difficulties in its operations while there are still some inadequacies to be addressed such as:
- inadequate human, material and financial resources;
- poor coordination between donors operating in the Member States in the area of statistical development and inadequate consultation between AFRISTAT and Member States on the design and implementation of their technical assistance;
- the non-implementation by some Member States of decisions taken by the statutory organs of AFRISTAT;
- insufficient interest, owing to the lack of statistical culture, of policymakers to develop statistics in Member States;
- lack of an institutional partnership framework between AFRISTAT and sub-regional integration bodies;
- information and communication gap on the institution and the importance of its activities.
1 See Study AFRISTAT après 2005 (AFRISTAT beyond 2005)