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The international reporting of military expenditure data for African states is poor in many respects. Figures that are published are often at variance with the socio-economic realities of the countries. This study examines the availability and reliability of official military expenditure data for six countries in West, Central and East Africa, using a combination of interviews with key actors in the military budgeting process and analysis of official documents in the countries selected. The author concludes that data are indeed available in many of these countries but that the quality of the data varies from country to country. Two main factors account for this—the influence of the donors of economic aid, whose insistence that a certain maximum level of expenditure on defence should not be exceeded has encouraged the manipulation of data by the countries concerned; and the general loss of capacity in several countries to compile the necessary statistics.
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2. Existing data sources
9. Conclusions: towards a better understanding of military expenditure in Africa
Appendix. Military expenditure and economic data, 1980–2002
About the author
Wuyi Omitoogun (Nigeria) is a Researcher on the SIPRI Military Expenditure Project responsible for monitoring military expenditure in the countries in Africa and the Middle East. He has previously worked at the Centre for Trans-Saharan Studies, University of Maiduguri, and the Obafemi Awolowo University, both in Nigeria. His publications include 'Organised street violence', in Cities Under Siege: Urban Violence in South, Central and West Africa (eds A. Louw and S. Bekker, 1996); 'Arms control and conflict in Africa', in Arms Control and Disarmament: A New Conceptual Approach (UN Department for Disarmament Affairs, Sep. 2000); 'Military expenditure and conflict in Africa', in DPMN Bulletin (Development Policy Management Network, July 2001); and chapters on African military expenditure in the SIPRI Yearbook 2000 and 2003.
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN 0-19-924503-7 - hardback, 148 pp.
ISBN 0-19-924502-9 - paperback, 148 pp.
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