5 Pages

Introduction: Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Evaluating the Data Base for African Economic Development: Morten Jerven & Deborah Johnston

ByEconomic Development

Measurement matters. This is true for any scholarly inquiry. However, increasingly measurement is at the forefront of debates in development. The ‘data revolution’ meme has been central in the post-2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDG) debates, and data quality has been the main focus in recent debates on development in Africa.1 The remarkable upward revision of GDP in Ghana in 2010 generated plenty of discussion (Jerven & Duncan, 2012), which was re-ignited with Nigeria’s GDP revision (Jerven 2013b, Jerven 2014a). These statistical events are good news. Not only are some countries richer than previously thought, but the updating of benchmarks is tangible evidence of improved statistical systems.