GDP was imposed on African countries in the second half of the 20th century as part of international aid schemes designed by western governments. As a performance assessment tool, it profoundly shaped our continent’s policies just as a company’s benchmarks shape the actions of its management. It made us dependent on extractive industries and exports, thus neglecting social welfare. Nowadays, we may enjoy varying degrees of democratic power, but our policies are still dictated by a form of “statistical colonialism”, as our ultimate measure of success has nothing to do with the culture, expectations and preferences of African people.
- Our Mismeasured Economy – The New York Times
- America’s GDP fetishism is a rare luxury in an age of vulnerability | Business | The Guardian