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AD219: Popular perceptions of elections, government action, and democracy in Mali

Much of the rhetoric ahead of Mali’s national elections in July has focused on security and reunification in the face of a continuing armed rebellion in the North (Bekow, 2018). Perhaps less obviously, the stakes are also high when it comes to what Malians demand from their government and their democracy.

English

AD216: La liberté d’expression au Togo serait-elle mise en quarantaine en période de crise?

La dernière décennie au Togo est marquée par une amélioration des libertés politiques et civiles (Freedom House, 2018). Toutefois, le chemin reste encore long pour passer de son statut de pays partiellement libre au statut de pays libre établis par Freedom House. Les crises sociopolitiques constituent, entre autres, un frein à cette évolution puisqu’elles conduisent souvent aux violations des droits de l’homme.

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AD215: Les Togolais sont prêts à s’engager pour le contrôle citoyen suite à la décentralisation

ONLY AVAILABLE N FRENCH.

Après une pause de plusieurs décennies dans le processus de décentralisation, le Togo reste dans l’espace de la Communauté Economique des États de l'Afrique de l'Ouest (CEDEAO) le seul pays où la décentralisation n’est pas encore effective et où les autorités locales dont les maires sont encore nommés par l’exécutif.

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AD214: ‘Paradise is getting rocky’: Mauritians see climate change as threat to quality of life

For Mauritius, the small island nation that Mark Twain referred to as the model for heaven, rising temperatures and rising sea levels can mean a host of threats, from more severe cyclones and floods to deterioration of coral reefs and beach erosion – an already-occurring phenomenon that the environment minister summed up this way: “Paradise is getting rocky” (Financial Times, 2017).

English

AD213: Zambians see corruption rising, government failing in anti-graft fight

Corruption is one of the largest impediments to economic growth, human development, and alleviation of poverty in Africa (Transparency International, 2015; United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, 2016; Bratton & Gyimah-Boadi, 2016). Studies have shown that corruption is particularly harmful to the poorest and most vulnerable, who depend most heavily on the state for services and lack the ability to vote with their wallets (Peiffer & Rose, 2014). 

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AD211: Malians split on role of Islam in country, but majority feel politicians use religion to rule

Islam’s roots in Mali reach back centuries, and at times have nurtured social and political as well as religious hopes. During the colonial period, Islam became an instrument of resistance; the French responded by trying to play a moderate “black Islam” off against a more threatening “Arab Islam.” Islam played no major role in post-independence politics, but after democratization in 1991, during a phase of weak state authority, Islam helped fill a void in socioeconomic and political leadership (International Crisis Group, 2017).

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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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AD209: Providing basic public services remains a challenge for Namibia’s government

In its Harambee Prosperity Plan, the Namibian government echoes concerns about its ability to deliver high-quality services as “a prerequisite for rapid growth, job creation and poverty eradication” (Republic of Namibia, 2016, p. 19; City of Windhoek, 2017; Weber & Mendelsohn, 2017; Delgado, 2017). The plan calls for stronger performance management, including citizen satisfaction surveys. The first such survey, in 2017, found satisfaction levels averaging 54% across 19 public institutions, well below the 70% target (Immanuel, 2018).

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AD207: Nigerians optimistic about economic outlook despite persistent poverty, inadequate services

After a 2016 recession blamed mainly on low oil revenues and unchecked corruption (Daily Post, 2017), Nigeria’s economy has been showing signs of improvement. Despite foreignexchange shortages, poor infrastructure, and likely political tensions ahead of the February 2019 general elections, economic projections have been positive, including expected gross domestic product (GDP) growth of about 2.6% in 2018 (Focus Economics, 2018).

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AD206: Zimbabwe’s MPs, local councillors get poor ratings on responsiveness and performance

In a democracy, elected local and parliamentary representatives are critical channels through which citizens’ views and preferences can impact local and national policies. They are also important conduits for disseminating information about government actions to the grass roots.

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AD204: Les forces de sécurité au Bénin: L’expérience et la confiance mitigée des citoyens

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

La sécurité des personnes, un des facteurs importants pour le bien-être de la population ainsi que le climat des investissements, ne peut être chose effective sans la proximité des forces de l’ordre avec la population, leur professionnalisme, et leur respect des droits de tous les citoyens. 

En vue de mieux appréhender l’opinion des citoyens sur le rôle joué par la police/ gendarmerie et les forces de défense, Afrobaromètre a posé une série de questions touchant leurs expériences et perceptions.

English

AD203: Amid rising dissatisfaction, Zambians give government poor marks on the economy

For a decade, Zambia had one of the world’s fastest-growing economies: Between 2004 and 2014, the gross domestic product (GDP) averaged annual growth of 6.7% (Index Mundi, 2017). In 2011, the World Bank reclassified Zambia from a low-income to a middle-income country (Guardian, 2011).

But according to the government’s 2015 Living Conditions Monitoring Survey Report, poverty levels have consistently remained above 60% (Central Statistical Office, 2016). In rural areas, three out of four persons (75%) are poor.

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AD202: Views of Namibia’s economy darken sharply; youth more likely to consider emigration

In the past two years, Namibia’s economy has struggled. In 2016, the country saw two consecutive quarters of negative gross domestic product (GDP) growth, officially plunging it into a depression, followed by the first year since 1993 to record a decline in the GDP, by 0.8% in 2017 (Namibia Statistics Agency, 2018). At the same time, unemployment among youth,1 who make up almost 40% of the population, increased to 43.4% in 2016, up from 39.2% in 2014 (Namibia Statistics Agency, 2015, 2017). 

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AD200: Weak public trust, perceptions of corruption mark São Tomé and Príncipe institutions

Trust, as the “main motor of good governance,” drives legitimacy in government and public institutions, leading toward a well-governed society (Blind, 2006, p. 16; Hetherington, 2005). Trust in institutions supports economic development by promoting financial-sector stability and encouraging investment (Tonkiss, 2009).

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AD199: Nigerians worried about violent clashes, praise government efforts to address armed extremism

Over the past several years, Nigeria has been plagued by various forms of violence, most prominently those linked to violent extremism in the Northeast and communal conflicts between herders and farmers in the central and southern zones. Analysts have attributed the deterioration of security in Nigeria to a wide range of causes, including weak or exploitative governance systems (Africa Center for Strategic Studies, 2017), inequality and injustice, ethno-religious conflicts, porous borders, rural-urban drift, poverty, and unemployment (Abdu & Okoro, 2016).

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AD198: Tolerance in Benin: Progress and challenges

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

L’acceptation des différences sociales est un facteur important permettant d’apprécier la cohésion sociale, qui est l’un des déterminants du climat des investissements. C’est dans ce cadre que le Bénin, dans l’Article 36 de sa Constitution, appelle chaque citoyen à la tolérance et au traitement sans aucune discrimination des uns envers les autres.  

English

AD197: Role of citizen: Mauritians value national identity but limit civic engagement

The Constitution of Mauritius grants citizens certain fundamental rights, including the right to be free and protected by the law, freedom of conscience, freedom of association, freedom of movement and of opinion, freedom to express themselves, freedom of religious belief, and the right to private property (Constitution of Mauritius, 1968).

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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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AD195: Most Zimbabweans trust the army but reject military rule, don’t feel free to voice criticism

The role and capacities of the military are critical elements of a modern state. In functional democracies, the military’s institutional boundaries are tightly prescribed, excluding it from the political arena. It must be both trusted and adequately resourced to effectively discharge its mandate of protecting the country from external and internal threats. 

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AD194: Ghanaians strongly endorse rule of law but see inequities in how laws are applied

Until January 7, 1993, Ghana’s post-independence history was checkered at best. The country’s first three democratic regimes never completed their first terms in office, ending in military coups d’états and the suspension of the constitutions underpinning their existence. The military regimes that ruled the country were largely autocratic and characterized by human-rights breaches and disregard for the rule of law. 

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AD191: Majority of Mauritians say living conditions are good, but many question country’s direction

In a stable political environment since independence in 1968, Mauritius transformed itself from a low-income country dependent on sugar into an upper-middle-income country with growing wealth creation from financial services, tourism, and other service sectors (World Bank, 2017).

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