Data and measurement are increasingly at the center of debates in African economic development. Last year, the remarkable upward revisions of GDP in Ghana and Nigeria led to the declaration of a ‘Statistical Tragedy in Africa.’ However, the revisions are also a sign that some statistical systems are improving.
This event will launch a special issue of the Journal of Development Studies, titled “Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Evaluating the Data Base for African Economic Development,” which features a series of papers on the quality of data on GDP, health, education, poverty, employment, agriculture, and wealth. The event will focus on the extent of the data problem in Africa and assess its implications for both academic interpretations and policy advice. It will also highlight ways both producers and users of key economic data can address the so-called “statistical tragedy” in Africa and help to improve the accuracy, timeliness and availability of key economic data.