Morten Jerven Morten Jerven

Poor Numbers @ PARIS21 and the OECD Development Centre on Friday 17 May, 11-13h.

Is there really a statistical tragedy in Africa?Where do African statistics originate? How accurate are they? Economic historian, Morten Jerven will be deliberating stats in Africa at a debate hosted by PARIS21 and the OECD Development Centre on Friday 17 May, 11-13h. The session will take place in Chateau Room D in the OECD Conference Centre, Paris.

 Morten’s recent book, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and what to do about it calls for urgent action on African economic development. Poor Numbers presents an uncompromising analysis of the production and use of African economic development statistics and makes the case for a coherent strategy for improving African statistical capacity, a cause at the heart of PARIS21 and OECD work.Headlining the bill, Morten will grapple with:

  • FACTS: What do we really know about growth and the economy in Africa?
  • CONTROVERSY: The case of Ghana: GDP increased 60% in one day! (from Poor Numbers)
  • SOURCES: Where does the data come from? Can we compare the figures at a regional level?
  • SOLUTIONS: What could/should we do to really strengthen statistical capacities in Africa?


To push debate further we will hear reactions from recognised African statisticians and experts with their take on the reality of working in difficult environments in pursuit of reliable and quality statistics. Then it’s your turn…


 The lineup

I. Openers Jan Rielaender Economist, OECD Development Centre, Johannes Jütting    Manager, PARIS21

II. Headliner Morten Jerven   Assistant Professor Simon Fraser University

III. Discussants Professor Ben Kiregyera    Chairman at DevInfCo, Uganda

Please register on EMS or with [email protected] by Wednesday 15 May, if you are able to attend. 


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