ACCRA, A senior official of the UN Development Program (UNDP), Serge Patrick Kapto, on Friday stressed the need for Africa to engage in innovative partnerships and build synergies to track progress made in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

He said most countries were quite challenged in monitoring the 44 indicators in the MDGs and now that the demand had vastly increased in the new agenda with 222 indicators, the reality was that no single stakeholder or government could do it by themselves.

"So, they will need the support of everybody; we need to engage in innovative partnerships, look at how new technologies, innovations, creativity of young people would help block the data gaps for our SDG implementation and monitoring," he told Xinhua in an interview on the sidelines of a panel discussion on the Africa data revolution report (ADRR) in Accra.

The maiden report, which is jointly published by the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the UNDP, World Wide Web Foundation and the Open Data for Development Network (OD4D), maps the data ecosystem in Africa with reference to the production, distribution and use of data by public, private and civil society actors, as they relate to the 17 SDGs.

The ADRR is expected to enhance the success of Agendas 2030 and 2063 in Africa.

Kapto said the first report looked at data ecosystem as a whole, looking at the different data communities that needed to get involved in data processes to ensure that they had the right tools, capacities, the right resources to write enabling legal legislative framework that allowed data innovation to flourish and be used effectively for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for disaggregated data in order for African countries to have better targeted policies.

"We need to know, for example, how older women are being affected in their environments that they live in so we can design policies that address their specific needs which are not going to be the same as those of a younger population," said Kapto, who is a policy specialist at the UNDP.

Chukwudozie Ezigbalike, chief of the data technology section at UNECA's Africa Center for Statistics, also called on African governments to strengthen the capacity of statistics to be able to produce more statistics but also to be able to coordinate the ecosystems to involve others producing data.

"We just need a coordinating function which has to be strengthened and empowered to do that," he said