Lack of adequate and timely information remains one of the main obstacles for the The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) countries to promote themselves to all prospective trading and economic partners, and as a result, reach their full economic potential. COMESA is of the view that small practical steps are highly important to help countries tackle information challenges.
COMESA would like to encourage a wide user of statistics and data among its member states. COMESA sees this and similar initiatives as initial steps for building a solid foundation for a true knowledge-based economy for the region as a whole and each member states.
COMESA would like to support enhanced integration and development of the COMESA Member States through information and knowledge sharing. COMESA will provide support to member countries by building a repository of data on most important industries (agriculture, health, education, etc.) and other economic development topics (trade, economic activities, employment, etc.).
Another important objective is to build an analytical solution to provide access to the above mentioned datasets and encourage a wider use of data by the general public and policy decision makers.
To achieve this objective, COMESA proposes building the COMESA Information Hub.
COMESA includes the following countries: Burundi, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Rwanda, Seychelles, Swaziland, Sudan, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The COMESA Information Hub will focus on the entire COMESA region.
The COMESA Information Hub will be designed to emphasize the use of data on key sectors items in each focus country on all relevant policy decisions made by each country. The information should be presented as a software solution to high level officials in each country. Throughout the process of developing this solution, it is our intention to build capacity within each country to maintain the data on all sectors/items fully updated and the application fully operational for all relevant agencies within the government. It is also relevant that such information is used regularly for all bilateral discussions between member states for joint projects.
To ensure sustainability, ownership at Member States level will be encouraged, including strong creation of synergies with already existing policies, strategies at national, regional and international level.
For the purpose of this project, COMESA intends to hire a consultant for selection of all data sources and necessary software development.
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