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Seeing Like a State in Africa: Data Needed

I'm a little late to this, but recently Chris Blattman set off an interesting debate by criticizing Bill Gates' recent interest in the quality of GDP statistics in Africa.  Chris worries that Gates is falling into the trap of "seeing like a state" -- i.e.,  from the top down, obsessing over national statistics -- rather than a bottom-up entrepreneur who, presumably, couldn't care less about aggregate GDP numbers.