This week, Chad became the 36th poor country to benefit from the world’s collective response to the debt crises of the 1980s and 1990s. It took years to reach this point, but in the end, Chad received over one billion dollars in irrevocable debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) Initiative.
Overthrowing the unsatisfactory data status quo depends on more than declarations and calls to coordinate and partner. As we and others have noted (here and here), more and better funding is what’s needed to deliver on a data revolution.
The seed of today’s podcast was planted back in April 2014. That’s when Nigeria made a statistical change to the way it calculates its GDP. Overnight, Nigeria’s GDP estimate shot up by 89%, making it the biggest economy in Africa.
In recent years, Tanzania has discovered natural gas reserves off its southern coast worth roughly 15 times its annual GDP, at least before the recent oil-price slump. How can Tanzania use that money, if and when it arrives, and avoid the notorious resource curse?