Open Data and African Banking

There are two recent initiatives in making bank economic data more transparent.

The first was by the World Bank a few months ago with their open financial data initiative which has data on bank loans over the last 50 years to various countries with details on loan programs, targeted areas & sectors, how much countries owe etc. They have also customized mobile versions of the data, with a claim that some data is accessible when offline, and with time the information will expand to also cover WB grants, not just loans.

This week, the African Development Bank rolled out open data for Africa with African countries trade, development numbers and other sectoral economic data. It’s accessible in English & French. This tool may not have as much data and, as is the case in many African countries where data collection is an issue, some searches may yield zeros. However, with time and a commitment to build on data collection, it will also be a useful resource for investment data.