Media and charity reports last month predicted that by 2015 road accidents will become the biggest killer of children aged 5 to 15 in sub-Saharan Africa. Wrong. The claim is based on old and faulty data.
An article in Kenya’s The Standard last week touted the claims of a local man to have found a new cough remedy based on ‘mole soup’. Coughs can be the symptom of many different conditions, some of which can be fatal. While diet can affect some coughs, this treatment is unverified for any.
South Africa’s former apartheid-era foreign affairs minister, Pik Botha, recently claimed that the country’s education system is the worst in Africa. How much does Botha know about education system rankings? Very little it turns out. Data shows that while South Africa lags behind a number of African countries, there are many with worse education systems.
A Time.com article recently claimed that “Africa has a drinking problem”. Do Africans drink too much? Data shows that the drinking habits of Africa’s 55 countries are extremely varied. And the majority of Africans don’t drink at all.
How trustworthy are Africa’s gross domestic product figures? These all-important statistics have taken on a “dangerously misleading air of accuracy”, writes economic historian Morten Jerven in his book, Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do About It.