African citizens’ development priorities given voice in G20 policy making

African citizens’ demands for jobs, reliable infrastructure, and good governance as requirements for sustainable development form part of “20 solutions” proposed to the world’s 20 largest industrialized and emerging countries (G20) in advance of their summit in July.

Based on Afrobarometer public-attitude surveys in 36 African countries, the priorities of everyday Africans are advocated in a policy brief titled “Cooperation between G20 and African states: Delivering on African citizens’ demands.” The brief is one of “20 Solution Proposals for the G20” put forward by the Think20 network of international think tanks.

The Afrobarometer policy brief cites data showing that “(a) Africans prioritize paid employment, social services, infrastructure, and food security; (b) poverty reduction is associated with access to reliable development infrastructure; and (c) beyond specific sector investments, sustainable development requires public trust in institutions built on good governance and political accountability.”

The authors argue that:

  • Infrastructure investment in Africa should continue to be a key priority of G20 policies.
  • Investments in employment, education, health, and (especially in rural areas) food security should be further strengthened.
  • G20-Africa cooperation needs to take into account that trustworthy, accountable institutions are a key factor for effective development policies.

The analysis is based on almost 54,000 interviews representing the views of more than three-fourths of Africa’s population. Afrobarometer is a pan-African, non-partisan survey research network that measures citizen attitudes about democracy and governance, the economy, civil society, and other topics. The network aims to give ordinary Africans a voice in policy making by providing high-quality public-opinion data to decision makers, policy advocates, civil society organisations, academic researchers, news media, donors, and investors, as well as the general public.

Afrobarometer is one of the international think tanks and research institutes collaborating in the independent Think20 (T20) network, which in 2016/2017 is developing policy recommendations for the G20 within 12 thematic task forces focusing on: digitalization, climate policy and finance, the 2030 Agenda, global inequality and social cohesion, forced migration, financial resilience, trade and investment, ending hunger and sustainable agriculture, international cooperation in tax matters, resilience and inclusive growth, the circular economy, and the G20 and Africa.

Going without basic necessities | 35 countries | 2014/2015

Respondents were asked: Over the past year, how often, if ever, have you or anyone in your family gone without: Enough food to eat? Enough clean water for home use? Medicines or medical treatment? Enough fuel to cook your food? A cash income? (% who say “just once or twice,” “several times,” “many times,” or “always”)

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