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1. 2 What is Afrobarometer? 3 The Afrobarometer is an independent, non-partisan survey research project coordinated by the Centre for Democratic Development.

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Presentation on theme: "1. 2 What is Afrobarometer? 3 The Afrobarometer is an independent, non-partisan survey research project coordinated by the Centre for Democratic Development."— Presentation transcript:

1 1

2 2 What is Afrobarometer?

3 3 The Afrobarometer is an independent, non-partisan survey research project coordinated by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa) and Michigan State University (MSU)

4 4 Implemented through a network of national research partners, Afrobarometer surveys measure the social, economic and political atmosphere of societies in transition in West, East and Southern Africa.

5 5 Why is Afrobarometer Important? The opinions of ordinary Africans are scarcely solicited By asking their opinions on important issues affecting them, Afrobarometer gives voice to Africans Because the same questions are asked every three years or so, Afrobarometer can compare findings across countries and track changes over time.

6 6 How is Afrobarometer data gathered?

7 7 Afrobarometer takes a representative sample of the adult population in each country Face to face interviews are conducted in the languages spoken by the respondent i.e. Twi, Swahili, Yoruba, Wollof… In round 2, over 23,000 people were interviewed in 15 African countries in 2002 and 2003 (21,000 people were asked similar questions in the round 1 survey in 1999 and 2001)

8 8 Caveat The Afrobarometer does not represent Africa as a whole but countries that have introduced a measure of democratic and market reform in recent years. Thus, when we refer to "Africans," we have this limited population (15 African countries) in mind.

9 9 Key findings

10 10 What do Africans say about their political conditions?

11 11 Africans express favourable opinions about democracy

12 12 Two thirds of all adults say they support democracy

13 13 Larger proportions reject military rule and dictatorship

14 14 Africans consider themselves better off under the new democratic governments than they were under the previous non-democratic regimes

15 15 However… Popular commitment to and positive evaluations of democracy have declined in some countries Note: Results for Ghana and Botswana exclude dont knows.

16 16 Declines tend to occur in countries where governing parties have stayed longest in power, such as: Zambia, Malawi and South Africa.

17 17 …and people tend to feel more positive about democracy in countries (Senegal, Kenya, Ghana, Mali, and Lesotho) where there has been recent electoral changeover

18 18 Thus… Popular commitment to democracy tends to decline as the enthusiasm of political transitions of the 1990s begin to fade But, democratic political change-over and/or improvements in government performance renew public commitment to democracy

19 19 What do Africans say about their economic conditions?

20 20 Africans express considerable discontent with their economic conditions

21 21 Levels of deprivation are generally high…

22 22 A disturbing proportion lack access to food

23 23 A disturbing percentage lack access to clean water

24 24 Many cannot access medicines or medical care

25 25 Access to fuel to cook remains inadequate

26 26 A substantial number lack cash incomes

27 27 Chronic unemployment underlines African economic discontentment

28 28 Africans generally conclude that… Economic reforms have made their lives worse, rather than better

29 29 Nevertheless… Hope prevails: Africans believe that their children will lead better lives than themselves

30 30 How optimistic are Africans? Will Your Children Be Better Off Than You?

31 31 More over… Economic patience has increased over the past four years Which of the following statements is closest to your view? A.The costs of reforming the economy are too high; the government should therefore abandon its current economic policies B.In order for the economy to get better in the future, it is necessary for us to accept some hardships now.

32 32 What do Africans think about HIV/AIDS?

33 33 HIV/AIDS appears to be taking a toll on Africans. Large proportions of people (especially in east and southern Africa) have either lost family or friends to the pandemic, or suffered significant AIDS related burdens

34 34 Yet ordinary Africans do not share the experts forecasts of the dire consequences of the pandemic

35 35 Consequently … Africans are undecided about whether their governments should divert resources from other priorities to fight AIDS in their country Except Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa, African publics are not convinced that AIDS constitutes a public health problems worthy of government attention

36 36 For example: AIDS versus health as a priority issue

37 37 Furthermore … Poor people demote AIDS to the level of a low priority problem behind more immediate pressing concerns like jobs or hunger

38 38 Policy implications

39 39 1.Democratic power alternation and improved performance of government increases popular commitment and support for democracy 2.Unless economic reforms translate into job creation; it would be difficult to sustain and/or increase citizens support for these reforms 3.Lack of popular demand for attention to AIDS should not be taken to mean that AIDS is not an important issue to warrant Government action

40 40 Comparing Mali Results to other African Countries


42 42 Definition of Poverty

43 43 Lack of food is a more defining feature of poverty in Mali than other African Countries

44 44 However, Malian poverty trends are generally consistent with African trends

45 45 Attitudes to command control versus free market economies:

46 46 Malian preference for government-run economy is higher than the average African

47 47 In addition, Malian approval of CC system is higher than the African average

48 48 Attitudes towards free-market values: Malians embrace of free market values is higher than the African average

49 49 Malians demonstrate slightly more moderate leanings towards communitarianism than the African average, but they have less extreme leanings than the African average

50 50 Attitudes to Economic Reforms

51 51 Even though Malians are consistently more supportive of abandoning economic reforms than African countries on average, their views are not glaringly divergent from the African norm

52 52 Democracy as the preferred system of governance Malian support for Democracy is higher than the African average

53 53 Military rule as the preferred system of governance: Malian Support for Military rule is higher than African Average

54 54 Womens Rights: Malian support for womens rights is remarkably lower than African average

55 55 Violent Conflicts: Malians experience with violent conflict in the communities is less than the than African average

56 56 On the average, ethnic, political, and religious factors are more pervasive causes of conflicts in other African countries than in Mali. Boundary/land disputes however, are considerably more serious sources of violence in Mali than in other African countries

57 57 Malian attitudes to violence generally mirrors that of the African average

58 58 We gratefully acknowledge support for the Afrobarometers research, capacity- building and outreach activities, from, among others, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the U.S. Agency for International Development. For more information, see: Or contact: Tanya Shanker (27-[0] (South Edem Selormey ( (Ghana), or Carolyn Logan ( For comment, contact Bob Mattes (27-[0] ) or Paul (17-[0] ) (South Africa), E. Gyimah-Boadi ( or Michael Bratton (

59 59 END

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