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High-level call for a Sustainable Development Goal target on data

19 November 2019
High quality, timely and reliable data are critical because population data are needed for 98 of the SDG targets, said UNFPA Executive Director, Dr. Natalia Kanem, at the 8th Africa Population Conference in Entebbe, Uganda. © UNFPA Uganda

ENTEBBE, Uganda, 18 November—Member States have demanded a specific target – SDG Target 17.18 – on data in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda, at the 8th African Population Conference currently underway here.

They emphasized the need for high quality, timely and reliable data disaggregated by income, gender, age, race, ethnicity, migratory status, disability, geographic location and other characteristics relevant in national contexts.

Only where governments can generate subnational population projections can we anticipate the future in all its diversity.

“This is critical because population data are needed for 98 of the SDG targets, and only where governments can generate subnational population projections can we anticipate the future in all its diversity,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director, at the opening of the conference.

“The Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) has an important role in ensuring that this SDG 17 target is met. As the leading population scientists on the continent, UAPS has the personal leverage and position to tackle this, and UNFPA stands in partnership with you,” Dr. Kanem said.  

Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni called for accelerated investment in human capital development across Africa to improve quality of life for the continent’s population, in a statement read by the Vice President of Uganda, Edward Ssekandi.

For many countries, the census is the primary source of data for development. UNFPA’s assistance, along with support from the UN Statistics Division and other development partners, has improved capacity of national statistical offices and other line ministries involved in the production of data, as well as its availability and use. UNFPA supports population census, civil registration and legal identity worldwide to ensure that everyone is counted and no one is left behind.

The conference, themed “Harnessing Africa’s Population Dynamics for Sustainable Development – 25 years after Cairo and beyond” is being held in Entebbe, Uganda, from 18-22 November. The event has been organized by the Union for African Population Studies (UAPS) with support from UNFPA and other partners.