Finding data in Africa shouldn’t be a problem. Let’s solve it

Data is the fuel of decision making, anywhere and everywhere; and Africa is not excluded. Regrettably, getting simple information to make intelligent decisions in Africa is so hard you are better off just reading the stars. No wonder most African businesses are based on “divine inspirations.”

The African economy is vast with different sectoral opportunities. Yet, the lord helps you finding accessible information to help you bring your nice ideas to the market. In the end, unfortunately, most of us depend on foreign data or information to make our business decisions. Some of these data are so old the web pages have gray hairs.

Many of my friends (I have so many, want some?) complain about the paucity of data and love to compare how easy it is to get data about other countries. But hey, angels didn’t create the data for them, they did. What we lack is a deliberate attempt to do research, surface insights and share data with the world, for free.

The exciting thing is, if you push data out, you end up becoming a reference or an authority even if some or all of what you published is rubbish. Remember, never believe everything you see on the internet.

The irony is that some data exist but in forms that are not discoverable. For example, I was recently looking for a list of approved mobile money operators in Nigeria. While I know it must be somewhere, hiding and eating popcorn on the CBN website, it wasn’t coming up on Google search.

And when you see some of these data, they are also not easy to understand forms. Data from National Bureau of Statistics (a rich source of good quality data) come in formats so ugly it wouldn’t find a girlfriend if it were a man.

My specialties have always been technology, banking, and payments, so, over the next few weeks, time permitting, I will be prettifying some of the easy information about Nigerian payments space which can then be found by anyone sleuthing around and hopefully Google and Bing can easily surface them as well.

Comments 2

  1. Hafiz Adewuyi wrote:

    Great initiative. I would be happy to assist in any way I can.

    Posted 15 Oct 2018 at 11:19 am
  2. Kaka Adeyemi wrote:

    https://www.icij.org/blog/2018/09/web-scraping-how-to-harvest-data-for-untold-stories/?fbclid=IwAR2mWiaVCGVlLn1JXp5QAD30WlDivEhXfTyphe1rzoYwyOqJJQ35qjPJiJA

    Posted 16 Oct 2018 at 11:26 am

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