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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.
Dr Yemi Kale, statistician general at the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria, led the team that made that startling revision. Some say Nigeria’s experience highlights how poor the state of African data was – a statistical tragedy in Africa, as one leading economist put it. Is it still? Or is there a statistical reawakening on the continent, as suggested in a paper by Dr Kale and Professor Morten Jurven of Simon Fraser University. They both joined me for this podcast.