Pan-African data store open for business

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Want to know the latest population figures from Kwa-Zulu Natal or how the literacy rate in Cape Verde’s Riberia Grande de Santiago region compares with the Upper Nile area of South Sudan? The African Development Bank (ADB) has long had the most arguable reliable and certainly comprehensive numbers for these kinds of useful but arcane data – and now you have too.

The ADB has completed a project to open up its data stores, with reference materials and datasets for 54 African countries available at Open Data for Africa. Because data is useless without context, much of it comes with pre-prepared visualisations and interactive graphical tools for exploring the numbers, as well as source files for importing into Excel, R, LibreOffice or your other preferred choice of statistical mining program.

The ADB subscribes to the belief that publishing this data can help to boost development across the continent, by helping politicians, NGOs, journalists, businesses and citizens to use it for the power of good.

The Open Data for Africa platform is an incredibly useful resource, a veritable treasure trove of research which includes statistical insight into both headline topics and things like what type of wood is burnt for cooking in different regions. It’s also one which we’ll no doubt be leaning heavily upon for sourcing information for stories in the future. Check it out over here.

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.