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AD352: Even before COVID-19, more than half of Africans experienced lack of needed health care

More than half of all Africans go without needed medical care at least once in a given year, a new analysis of Afrobarometer survey data shows. Across the continent, citizens identify health as the second-most-important national problem they want their governments to address.

Even before the threat of overwhelming demand due to COVID-19, about one in five Africans faced a frequent lack of needed health-care services, including almost two-thirds of the poorest citizens.

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AD351: Ghanaians’ acceptance of security-related restrictions faces test with COVID-19 lockdown

 
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AD350: Batswana see civil liberties as largely intact, split on possible trade-offs for security

 
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AD349: African governments failing in provision of water and sanitation, majority of citizens say

More than half of Africans say their governments are failing them when it comes to one of their top priorities – the provision of clean water and sanitation services, a new Afrobarometer analysis shows. Half of survey respondents say they went without enough clean water for home use during the previous year – a particular concern considering the importance of proper hygiene for preventing the spread of coronavirus and other infectious diseases.

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AD348: Citizen engagement in Gambia: Enough to secure democratic gains?

 
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AD347: Ghanaians cite high cost, bias, and long delays as barriers to using formal justice system

 
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AD346: Sierra Leoneans say health care hard to access, beset by corruption – especially for the poor

A decade-long civil war (1991-2002) and a 2014 Ebola outbreak left Sierra Leone’s health- care system in a poor state, including inadequate infrastructure and staff (Ministry of Health and Sanitation, 2017). With 1,165 deaths per 100,000 live births recorded in 2017, Sierra Leone has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal and infant mortality (United Nations Population Fund, 2017).

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AD344: Sierra Leoneans strong on democracy, but split on whether dual citizens should participate

After an unstable political history of autocratic rule, coups and counter-coups, and a destructive decade-long civil war, Sierra Leoneans want to live in a democracy with elections and multiparty competition, according to findings from the most recent Afrobarometer survey.

They are divided, however, on the question of whether people holding dual citizenship should be allowed to participate by voting, and a majority would deny them the right to stand for office.

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AD343: Climate change: Few Moroccans see it as making life worse, feel empowered to fight it

 
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AD342: Free vs. false: Namibia’s changing media landscape presents tough choices for citizens

 
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AD341: Malawians see declining quality of elections, express little trust in the electoral commission

Last May, Malawians went to the polls for their sixth national election since the country returned to multiparty democracy in 1994. The outcome was the most disputed election result in their history, marked by legal challenges, six months of court hearings covered live on leading radio stations, and an unprecedented series of public demonstrations led by the civil-society Human Rights Defenders Coalition demanding the resignation of commissioners of the Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) (Sabola, 2019; Nyondo, 2019; Chiuta, 2019).

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AD340: Most Malawians see legal challenge to election results as justified, courts as impartial and trustworthy

 
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AD339: Religion in Africa: Tolerance and trust in leaders are high, but many would allow regulation of religious speech

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AD337: Batswana say traditional leaders strengthen democracy – but should stay out of politics

Botswana is the oldest multiparty democracy in sub-Saharan Africa, boasting 11 successful national elections since independence in 1966. The country’s Constitution provides for a parliamentary system with two chambers: Parliament, which makes laws, and the House of Chiefs (Ntlo ya Dikgosi), which serves in an advisory capacity on matters of tradition and customs. Except for a few sub-districts where chiefs are elected, chieftainship is a hereditary institution based on tribal lineage.

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AD336: Despite freedoms seen as growing, Tunisians show limited citizen engagement

Tunisia has been a model of successful democratic transition in the Arab world since its revolution in 2011 (Caryl, 2019). While Libya, Yemen, and Syria have descended into civil war, Egypt and Bahrain into repression and authoritarianism, Tunisia is the only Arab Spring country where democracy has survived (Chulov, 2018).

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AD335: Gabonese say president should be accountable to courts and Parliament, but often ignores both

Accountability forms a central pillar of democratic governance. While free and fair elections help promote government of, by, and for the people, what happens between election days can be equally important. Respect for the rule of law and other government branches are as essential in the day-to-day business of governing as they are for ensuring high-quality elections.

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AD334: Prerequisite for progress: Accessible, reliable power still in short supply across Africa

Given its undisputed importance for almost any aspect of development – from health and educational achievement to economic growth and poverty reduction – access to electricity may have earned the status of a basic human right (Hughes, 2018). At a minimum, it is widely acknowledged as a prerequisite for progress on most of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), where it is highlighted as SDG7, “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all” (United Nations Development Programme, 2019; Stern, 2016; Lloyd, 2017).

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AD333: Ghanaians perceive increase in corruption level, give government low marks on fighting graft

Fighting corruption was one of the main campaign planks of Ghana’s current government. During his inauguration speech in 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo cited the war on graft as his top priority, pledging to protect the public purse and rejecting the idea that the public service is an avenue for making money (BBC, 2017; Forson, 2017).

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AD331: Despite recent banking shake-up, Ghanaians still see banks as their safest option

Ghana’s banking sector is the second-largest in the West African Monetary Zone (Frankfurt School, 2015) and recorded a 33.9% increase in total assets between June 2016 (GHS 66.29 billion) and June 2018 (GHS 100.35 billion) (Bank of Ghana, 20188. But during the past two years, the country’s financial industry has seen a massive shake-up, resulting in the revocation of licenses of nine universal banks, 347 microfinance companies, 39 microcredit companies/money lenders, 15 savings and loan companies, eight finance house companies, and two non-bank financial institutions (Ghanaweb, 2019a).

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AD329: Tanzania Revenue Authority earns good marks but still earning citizens’ trust

Tax revenues play an essential role in financing government expenditures, which can benefit citizens through effective public services, infrastructure, and development (Bird, 2010). This requires that citizens pay their taxes and that the government administer taxes effectively and efficiently – requirements that represent significant challenges in many countries (Saad, 2014).

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AD330: Party identification and trust are declining, but Namibians have not lost faith in voting

For the sixth time since independence, Namibians are going to the polls to choose a president and members of the National Assembly – in free and fair elections whose outcome has never varied.

Although Namibia uses a closed party-list system with “largest remainders” provisions that optimize parliamentary inclusion even for very small parties, the ruling SWAPO Party has managed to increase its share of votes and parliamentary seats consistently since the founding elections of 1989.

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AD326: Sudanese voice support for elections, accountability, limits on presidential powers

 
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AD325: Les Togolais ne sont pas satisfaits de la performance du gouvernement en éducation

« Assurer l’accès de tous à une éducation de qualité, sur un pied d’égalité » fait partie du quatrième Objectif de Développement Durable et demeure l’un des besoins fondamentaux de la jeunesse. Pour promouvoir une meilleure éducation, le Togo pour sa part, a élaboré des stratégies gouvernementales définies dans le Plan Sectoriel de l’Education (2014-2025) (Partenariat Mondiale pour l’Education, 2019).

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AD324: Despite progressive laws, barriers to full gender equality persist in South Africa

Since May, for the first time in its history, half of South Africa’s Cabinet ministers are women (World Economic Forum, 2019). And assessing women’s economic participation, educational attainment, health and survival, and political empowerment, the Global Gender Gap Index ranks South Africa 19th out of 149 countries (World Economic Forum, 2018).

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AD323: In eSwatini, citizens doubt benefits of legalizing marijuana, but few would report violations

In search of economic growth, employment, and tax revenue, some governments have looked to one of the world’s oldest and most lucrative – but often illegal – cash crops: cannabis (Gardner, 2019; Meyer, 2019). Known to most people for its recreational use as marijuana, cannabis also has non-intoxicating forms (known as hemp) that are fast-growing and water-wise and can be used to make fabrics, ropes, papers, and oils, among other uses.

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