Malawi

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Malawi

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AD210: Climate change, government management pose challenges in agriculture-dependent Malawi

Agriculture is the mainstay of Malawi’s economy, contributing 30% of gross domestic product (GDP) and employing a majority of the country’s workforce (World Bank, 2016). Malawi has also been classified as one of Southern Africa’s most vulnerable countries to the effects of climate change due to its heavy dependence on rain-fed agriculture and susceptibility to floods and droughts (Government of the Republic of Malawi, 2015).

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WP181: Do electoral systems affect how citizens hold their government accountable? Evidence from Africa

This paper asks whether a country’s choice of electoral system affects the methods citizens use to try to hold their government accountable. A large body of literature suggests that electoral system type has an impact on voting behaviour, but little work has been done on its effects on other strategies for democratic accountability, such as contacting an elected representative and protesting. Using data from 36 African countries, we find that the type of electoral system has a significant relationship with these forms of participation.

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WP180: Police-citizen interaction in Africa: An exploration of factors that influence victims’ reporting of crimes

While personal insecurity in Africa is typically associated with civil wars, crime is actually a far more common threat to the continent’s citizens. Rates of homicide, sexual assault, and property crime in Africa are often far higher than global averages. Despite such threats, many Africans do not report crimes to the police.

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WP179: Electricity provision and tax mobilization in Africa

In this paper, we provide evidence on how the provision of social infrastructure such as reliable electricity can be leveraged to increase taxation in developing countries, particularly sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). First, using comprehensive data from the latest round of the Afrobarometer survey, we estimate, via the instrumental variable approach, the effect of access and reliability of electricity on tax compliance attitudes of citizens in 36 SSA countries.

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AD196: Who’s watching? Voters seen as key in holding elected officials accountable

In addition to the growing number of African states that conduct regular elections and embed democratic principles in their constitutions, evidence comes from survey-based research that most Africans support democratic values and reward governments that adhere to democratic rules (Mattes & Bratton, 2007; Bratton & Mattes, 2001). However, in many countries, citizen demand for democracy is not met by supply of democracy (Mattes & Bratton, 2016) as governments, once elected, fail to respect the norms of democratic governance (Gyimah-Boadi, 2015).

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Radio remains the most-used source of news in many African countries

Despite audience gains for television and digital media, radio is still by far the most frequent information source for Africans, a new Afrobarometer analysis suggests.

Released on the occasion of World Radio Day (13 February), the analysis is based on Afrobarometer surveys in eight African countries in 2017.

While radio still leads the pack, a previous Afrobarometer report shows television, the Internet, and social media gaining ground.

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PP43: Tax compliance Africans affirm civic duty but lack trust in tax department

In any economy, balancing expenditures, revenues, and debts is a delicate and often politicized task. Competing interests and priorities buffet those tasked with planning a viable and stable national budget. For any state, taxes raised from individuals and businesses are a central plinth supporting the provision of services, the maintenance of infrastructure, the employment of civil servants, and the smooth functioning of the state. 

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AD176: Malawians increasingly cautious about exercising right to ‘free’ political speech

Under the one-party reign of President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Malawi was described as a country “where silence rules” (Carver, 1990) because of the regime’s effective machinery for squashing dissent. This era ended with a 1993 referendum endorsing a multiparty democracy and constitution enshrining freedom of expression and of association (Malawi Government, 1994). 

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WP176: The autocratic trust bias: Politically sensitive survey items and self-censorship

Because of a perceived risk of repressive action, some survey questions are likely sensitive in more autocratic countries while less so in more democratic countries. Yet survey data on potentially sensitive topics are frequently used in comparative research despite concerns about comparability.

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Malawians losing confidence in elections, demand reforms, new Afrobarometer survey shows

A growing number of Malawians say the country should adopt methods other than elections for choosing its leaders because elections produce “bad results.” According to the latest Afrobarometer survey, four in 10 citizens support this idea – more than twice as many as a decade ago.

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Malawians see corruption increasing ‘a lot,’ new Afrobarometer survey finds

Most Malawians say that corruption in the country has increased over the past year, including two-thirds who say it has increased “a lot,” according to a new Afrobarometer survey.

About half of Malawians think that “most” or “all” police officers, business executives, and officials in the Presidency are corrupt. Most respondents say that people risk retaliation if they report corruption and that the government is performing poorly in the fight against corruption.

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State of the nation: Malawians’ reflections on political governance

At a glance

Trust: Most Malawians trust religious leaders and the Malawi Defence Force, but only about one in three trust the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the ruling party, or the president.

Democracy and freedoms: A majority of Malawians say their country is “not a democracy” or “a democracy with major problems.”

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State of the nation: Malawians’ reflections on political governance

At a glance

Trust: Most Malawians trust religious leaders and the Malawi Defence Force, but only about one in three trust the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC), the ruling party, or the president.

Democracy and freedoms: A majority of Malawians say their country is “not a democracy” or “a democracy with major problems.”

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AD149: Is Malawi losing the battle against ‘Cashgate’?

The negative effects of corruption on development are well documented (Lambsdorff, 2004; Açkay, 2006; Runde, Hameed, & Magpile, 2014; Banerjee, 2016). Malawi’s establishment of an Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in 1995 underlined the government’s acknowledgement of the problem and determination to deal with it. In 2008, the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS) was launched to provide a holistic multi-stakeholder front against corruption. At the time, it was estimated that the country was losing one-third of its revenue through corruption (Government of Malawi, 2008).

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AD152: In Malawi, gender gaps persist despite popular support for equal opportunity

From a legal perspective, Malawi has made tremendous progress toward eliminating discrimination against women. In addition to passing the Gender Equality Act (2012), the Prevention of Domestic Violence Act (2006), and the Deceased Estates (Wills, Inheritance and Protection) Act (2011), the government has demonstrated its commitment by embracing gender mainstreaming in policy decisions, legislation, and development plans and programs (Kalinde, 2013; Amundsen & Kayuni, 2016; Dulani & Kayuni, 2014).

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In Malawi, gender gaps persist despite popular support for equal opportunity

While Malawians express support for equal rights for women when it comes to owning land and getting a job, gender-based discrimination is not a rare experience, according to a new Afrobarometer survey. 

And despite the majority view that women should have the same chance as men to be elected, Malawian women continue to trail their male counterparts in engaging in political activities.

Overall, survey results suggest a need for strategic and better-coordinated efforts to empower women to become active in politics, as the environment seems conducive to their support.

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Gender equality and women’s political engagement in Malawi

At a glance

  • A majority of Malawians say the government has performed well in promoting opportunities and equality for women. But citizens are divided as to whether there has been progress on women’s rights in recent years.
  • Strong majorities of Malawians say women should have the same chance as men to be elected to office and the same rights as men to own and inherit land.
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Geocoded data

Subnationally geocoded Afrobarometer data

Analyze the priorities, preferences, experiences, and opinions of more than 200,000 African citizens in 28,000 localities.

In partnership with:

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Access to justice still elusive for many Africans, Afrobarometer survey finds

In most African countries, substantial barriers still inhibit citizens’ access to justice, a new Afrobarometer analysis finds. 

Based on a special access-to-justice module in national surveys in 36 African countries, the sobering report identifies long delays, high costs, corruption, the complexity of legal processes, and a lack of legal counsel as major obstacles for citizens seeking legal remedies.

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How good are Africa's elections? Afrobarometer video.

Video transcript:

Dozens of African countries regularly conduct national and local elections.

Each election picks a winner.

But beyond winners and losers, the quality of each election also shapes how people feel about their political system in general.

Free and fair elections make people want more democracy.

Elections tainted by repression, fraud, or violence have the opposite effect.

So how good are Africa’s elections?

Afrobarometer surveyed  more than 53,000 citizens in 36 countries, in every region of Africa.

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Do Africans still want democracy? Afrobarometer findings warn of democratic recession, point to long-term gains

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.

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World Development Information Day: China’s growing presence in Africa wins positive popular reviews (Afrobarometer findings)

Key findings

  • On average across 36 African countries, China is the second-most-popular model for national development (cited by 24% of respondents), trailing only the United States of America (30%). About one in 10 respondents prefer their former colonial power (13%) or South Africa (11%) as a model.
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Job performance of MPs, local councillors: Are representatives serving Africa’s voters or themselves? (Afrobarometer findings)

Key findings

  • Across 36 African countries, fewer than half of respondents say they trust their MPs (48%) and local councillors (46%) “somewhat” or “a lot.” Among 12 public institutions and leaders, MPs and local councillors rank eighth and ninth in public trust.
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