New ECA initiative supports measurement of urban GDP in Africa



New ECA initiative supports measurement of urban GDP in Africa

GDP estimates will provide a better understanding of the economic weight and performance of cities

ADDIS-ABEBA, Ethiopia, October 13, 2021 / APO Group / –

A new initiative by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is helping African cities measure their gross domestic product (GDP) – a vital indicator of economic well-being.

The results of the pilot initiative for the first time show that between 2015 and 2020, Harare accounted for an average of 38% of Zimbabwe’s GDP, while the contributions of Accra and Yaoundé to Ghana and Cameroon were respectively 36. % and 15.7%.

GDP estimates will allow a more precise understanding of the economic weight and performance of cities as well as the design of appropriate measures to unlock their full potential. The figures will also help identify priority policy interventions to attract investors, improve competitiveness and strengthen productive economic sectors in cities.

New regional technical working group

Presenting the initiative at the inaugural meeting of a regional technical working group, Ms. Edlam Yemeru, Acting Director of the Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division of ECA said: “The GDP of cities, despite its immense contribution to national economies, has hardly been measured in Africa in a consistent manner to inform policy targeting and investment decisions.

She added: “By working with partners, ECA aims to ensure that city GDP estimates are carried out regularly across the region in order to access and harness the potential and economic performance of African cities. The creation of the regional technical working group is of crucial importance for the realization of these aspirations.

The regional technical working group is made up of experts from various organizations, including UN-Habitat, the African Union, United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), the Sahel and Africa Club of the West of the Organization for Economic Cooperation. and Development, the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the World Resources Institute, the Cities Alliance, the Gauteng City and Region Observatory and the Islamic Development Bank.

Group mandate

Members of the technical working group will meet regularly to give their opinion on a regional guideline on estimating the GDP of cities in Africa and a roadmap to institutionalize the practice, while exchanging ideas, solutions and conclusions at the same time. local, national and continental levels. The regional guideline, in particular, will be used as a primary capacity building tool to help more African cities make their GDP estimates.

The initiative – which is part of a larger ECA effort to support disaggregation of city-level statistics in Africa – will soon be extended to cover Kigali, Lusaka and lesotho.

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