African Statistical Yearbook 2018

African Statistical Yearbook 2018
Photo credit: Pierre Holtz | UNICEF

15 May 2018

The African Statistical Yearbook series is a result of joint efforts by major African regional organizations to set up a joint data collection mechanism of socioeconomic data on African countries as well as the development of a common harmonized database.

The Yearbook is meant to break with the practices of the past where each regional/subregional organization was publishing statistical data on African countries of the continent in an inefficient way, leading to duplication of efforts, inefficient use of scarce resources, increased burden on countries and sending different signals to users involved in tracking development efforts on the continent.

It is expected that the joint collection and sharing of data between regional institutions will promote wider use of country data, reduce costs and significantly improve the quality of the data and lead to better monitoring of development initiatives on the continent. The data in this issue of the Yearbook are arranged generally for the years 2009 to 2017 or for the last 10 years for which data are available.


This is the tenth edition of the Yearbook, jointly produced by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Union Commission (AUC) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). It is a result of the fruitful collaboration that exists among the three pan-African organizations within the field of statistics.

This synergistic collaboration has two principal benefits: (1) it minimizes the risk of inconsistent information being produced by the three organizations, and (2) it reduces the reporting burden on member states, who might otherwise be obliged to submit data separately to each institution.

As collective efforts to build the capacity of national statistical systems bear fruit, the three organisations are able to use more national data for the country tables, in some cases even to source data directly from online dissemination facilities of national statistical offices (NSOs) – as the custodians of countries’ official statistics and coordinators of the National Statistical Systems.

Invariably, there are some data sets that have to be sourced from international organizations that have been designated to compile comparable statistics on specific themes for the whole world, including Africa. Still it is important that such series are confirmed by the countries so that any variations resulting, for instance from methodological differences, are reconciled before compiling the final figures in the Yearbook.

The importance of involving African Union member states in the validation process is therefore emphasized. In that regard, each country received a draft of the country tables to review and correct as necessary. Thereafter, representatives of selected NSOs were convened in a validation workshop for further discussion and clarification of outstanding issues.

Users of this publication may observe differences between figures published here and those published elsewhere. These are unavoidable as a result, for instance, of different release dates and associated stages of the datasets in the compilation process at the time of the respective releases.

As a result of these differences, one may observe apparent discrepancies between values published in the 2017 edition of the ASYB, as member states or international data providers recompute data series based on improved or otherwise revised data points and/or models. Differences may also be observed between data from national sources and those published and disseminated by international organizations due to the fact that the latter may have been adjusted for comparability among countries.

The Yearbook continues to serve the intended purpose of bringing together, in one volume, data on African countries for policy-makers, researchers and other users. Bearing in mind that the original collection of the statistics takes place at the national level, the ECA, AfDB and AUC commit to continue their joint efforts to continuously reinforce the capacities of the national structures to produce quality and credible statistics, first for their development needs, and then to feed into appropriate continental and global databases and repositories.

Source African Development Bank
Website Visit website
Date 15 May 2018
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