Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 444511
Title Writing History Backwards or Sideways: Towards a Consensus on African Population, 1850-present
Author(s) Frankema, E.H.P.; Jerven, M.
Source Sweden : LUND University
Department(s) Rural and Environmental History
Publication type Working paper aimed at scientific audience
Publication year 2013
Abstract This paper aims to make an empirical and theoretical contribution towards the creation of a continent wide data set on African population extending into the pre-1950 era. We investigate the reliability and the validity of the current population databases with the aim of working towards a consensus on the long term series of African total population with a reliable 1950 benchmark. The cases of Kenya, Nigeria and Ghana are explored to show how uneven coverage census taking has been in colonial and post-colonial Africa and to demonstrate the need for an upward adjustment of the conventional 1950 benchmark. In addition, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of Patrick Manning’s approach of projecting population growth estimates backwards in time by adopting the available Indian census data as African ‘default growth rates’ and propose an alternative approach by incorporating the demographic experiences of tropical land abundant countries in South East Asia.
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