UN Commission supports new initiative to measure African cities GDP

 A new initiative by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) is supporting African cities to measure their Gross Domestic Product (GDP,  a vital economic well-being indicator.

This is contained a statement on Thursday.

The GDP estimates, the ECA said, will enable a more accurate understanding of the economic weight and performance of cities as well as the design of tailored measures to unlock their full potential.

The figures will further help identify priority policy to attract investors, improve competitiveness and strengthen productive economic sectors cities.

Presenting the initiative to the inaugural meeting of a regional technical working group, Ms Edlam Yemeru, ECA’ Director a.i. for the Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division said: “City GDP, inspite of its immense contribution to national economies, has hardly been measured Africa consistently to inform policy targeting and investment decisions.

”Working with partners, ECA aims to ensure city GDP estimations are conducted regularly across the region as a means of accessing and harnessing the economic potential and performance of African cities.

”The establishment of the regional technical is of crucial significance realizing these aspirations.”

The technical members would meet regularly to advise on a regional guideline on city GDP estimation Africa and a roadmap to institutionalise the practice.

This would be done while exchanging ideas, solutions and findings at the local, national and continental levels.

The regional guideline, particular, would be used as a main capacity- tool to support more African cities conducting their GDP estimates.

According to the statement, findings from the pilot initiative for the first time showed that between 2015 and 2020 Harare accounted for an average of 38 cent of Zimbabwe’ GDP, while Accra and Yaoundé’ contributions Ghana and Cameroon were 36 cent and 15.7 cent respectively.

The regional technical comprises experts from various organisations.

They are the UN-Habitat, the African Union, the United Cities and Local Governments of Africa (UCLG-Africa), the Sahel and West Africa Club of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

Others are the United Nations Capital Development Fund, the World Resources Institute, the Cities Alliance, the Gauteng City-Region Observatory and the Islamic Development Bank. (NAN)