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Economic Brief - In-Depth Situational Analysis of the Reliability of Economic Statistics in Africa: With a Special Focus on GDP Measurement & Methodological Requirements


The world media are proclaiming the rise of Africa as the next economic powerhouse. Most countries in the region report steady annual GDP growth of GDP, and several are growing at Asian-style double digit rates. Welcome news for a continent that harbors a large share of the world’s poorest people!

But is it true? Recent major revisions to GDP estimates in some African countries have raised questions about reported levels and growth rates of GDP. The Statistical Department of the African Development Bank has responded in two ways.

First, it has set up a series of country-bycountry Peer Reviews: national accounts compilers from each country meet with experienced statisticians from other countries in the region to explain exactly how GDP is being estimated, identify areas that may be problematic, and suggest what to do about them. Reports on these Peer Reviews are published on the AfDB website:

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