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Conservation of wildlife is frequently seen as a cost to governments, resulting in little investment in wildlife resources despite the extensive contributions that the wildlife economy can, and does, make in terms of employment and revenues. The African Leadership University’s School of Wildlife Conservation received funding to conduct research and produce the inaugural State of the Wildlife Economy in Africa Report to illustrate the current and potential value of wildlife to economies in Africa and through this to encourage investment in this important economic asset. The report development process highlighted data gaps that should encourage the collection of robust data related to wildlife economies in order to better understand the vast contribution of wildlife resources to local, national and regional economies.