Good jobs, economic growth top priorities of African citizens; gov’t performance lags in this areas – Report
New Afrobarometer findings from across the continent indicate that good jobs and economic growth top the list of priorities of African citizens, but government performance on these issues are lagging.
These findings are based on recent public opinion surveys conducted in 34 Pan Africa countries.
Afrobarometer reports that “decent work and economic growth” is Africans’ highest priority among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but is also an area where governments are performing particularly poorly. Other highly prioritized SDGs include those focusing on hunger, health, and “peace, justice and strong institutions.”
The new report links the “most important problems” identified by more than 45,800 Africans, as well as their assessments of their governments’ performance on these issues, to the goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
During the presentation of Afrobarometer findings, Afrobarometer fieldwork operation Manager for West, East and North Africa, revealed that “Across 34 surveyed countries, unemployment tops the most important problems that Africans want their governments to address, followed by health, infrastructure/roads, water/sanitation, education, management of the economy, and poverty.”
She added that based on mappings, the “most important problems” identified by Afrobarometer respondents are those around SDG8; “decent work and economic growth,”. Each of the seven other SDGs captures the attention of between 20% and 31% of respondents, including SDG2 (“zero hunger”) (31%), SDG3 (“good health and well-being”) (27%), SDG16 (“peace, justice and strong institutions”) (26%), SDG9 (“industry, innovation and infrastructure”) (24%), SDG6 (“clean water and sanitation”) (24%), SDG1 (“no poverty”) (22%), and SDG4 (“quality education”) (21%),
However, other Afrobarometer data reveals that African publics typically also value these goals (e.g. gender equality, climate change), even if they are not the first things on their minds in the struggle for daily survival.
Poverty and low socioeconomic development, both at the individual level and the country level, strongly shape priorities. Jobs/economic growth and good governance are higher priorities for wealthier individuals and for more economically developed countries but people place higher priority on fighting hunger and having adequate supplies of clean water and energy.
Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues in African countries. Six rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2015, and Round 7 survey findings in 34 countries are being released in 2018/2019. Interested readers may follow our releases, including Pan-Africa Profiles series of Round 7 cross-country analyses.
Afrobarometer conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples. Sample sizes of 1,200 or 2,400 yield country-level results with a margin of sampling error of +/-3 or 2 percentage points, respectively, at a 95% confidence level.