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AD83: Despite decline in lived poverty, South Africans increasingly pessimistic about the economy

Considering the barrage of bad economic news to which South Africans have been subjected, perhaps the most remarkable aspect of 2015 Afrobarometer survey findings on the economy is that on a personal level, citizens seem to be doing slightly better.

To be sure, South Africans are increasingly pessimistic about their national economy: Compared to 2011, more citizens say the country’s economic situation is bad, conditions are worse than a year ago and not likely to improve over the next 12 months, and the country is headed in the wrong direction.

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AD82: Post-1994 South Africa better than apartheid, but few gains in socioeconomic conditions

Since South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy in 1994, the government’s development plans have focused on redressing racial inequalities in socioeconomic outcomes. The National Development Plan 2030 highlights broadened access to education and other essential services, along with rising incomes, as indicators of the country’s “remarkable progress” over the past two decades: “In nearly every facet of life, advances are being made in building an inclusive society, rolling back the shadow of history and broadening opportunities for all” (National Planning Commission, 2013, p.

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AD81: Lutte contre la corruption au Niger: La désapprobation des citoyens augmente

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Le Niger, à l’instar de bien de pays africains, n’échappe pas au phénomène de la corruption. Chaque jour, les citoyens, dans la demande des services de base (l’acquisition des services d’eau, d’assainissement, et d’électricité) ou encore lorsqu’ils ont recours à l’assistance de la police ou du tribunal, y sont constamment confrontés.

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AD80: Au Sénégal, la pauvreté vécue est en recul

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Bien que la pauvreté monétaire n’épargne aucune catégorie sociale, la proportion de Sénégalais qui ne parviennent pas à satisfaire leurs besoins de base est en baisse depuis 2008, selon l’enquête organisée par Afrobaromètre au Sénégal en novembre-décembre 2014. Ce recul de la « pauvreté vécue » pourrait être corrélé avec la perception par les Sénégalais de l’amélioration de la situation économique du pays  en général et de leurs conditions de vie en particulier.

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AD77: Fighting corruption in Uganda: Despite small gains, citizens pessimistic about their role

Uganda’s widespread corruption is highlighted in the country’s poor ranking (139th out of 167 countries) in the Corruption Perceptions Index as well as in the recent Africa edition of the Global Corruption Barometer (Transparency International, 2015a, b). Pernicious effects stretch from substandard public services through elections and the judiciary to stunted economic development. In 2012, four in 10 respondents (41%) in an Afrobarometer survey reported that they had been offered money or a gift in return for their votes during the 2011 elections.

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AD76: Lack of safe water, sanitation spurs growing dissatisfaction with government performance

If water is fundamental to life and human dignity, no issue is more pressing for 663 million people for whom access is still lacking (United Nations, 2015). As World Water Day (March 22) reminds us, safe and readily available water is a human right and an important contributor to public health, whether it is used for drinking, washing, food production, or recreational purposes.

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AD75: Off-grid or ‘off-on’: Lack of access, unreliable electricity supply still plague majority of Africans

Rolling blackouts may make headlines; a complete lack of electricity infrastructure usually doesn’t. Both are part of Africa’s electricity deficit, a major obstacle to human and socioeconomic development with pernicious effects on health (think of clinics without lifesaving equipment and refrigerated drugs and vaccines), education, security, and business growth.

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AD74: Bons vizinhos? Africanos expressam elevados níveis de tolerância para muitos, mas não para todos

Os académicos têm argumentado que a tolerância é "a endorfina do corpo político democrático," essencial para o livre intercâmbio político e cultural (Gibson & Gouws, 2005, p. 6). Seligson e Morino-Morales (2010, p. 37) reflectem esta opinião quando afirmam que uma democracia sem tolerância pelos membros de outros grupos é "fatalmente imperfeita.”

Undefined

AD74: Good neighbours? Africans express high levels of tolerance for many, but not for all

Scholars have argued that tolerance is “the endorphin of the democratic body politic,” essential to free political and cultural exchange (Gibson & Gouws, 2005, p. 6). Seligson and Morino-Morales (2010, p. 37) echo this view when they contend that a democracy without tolerance for members of other groups is “fatally flawed.”

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AD73: Majority of South Africans want a workers’ party as alternative to ANC

Twenty-one years after the African National Congress came to power in South Africa’s transition to democratic institutions and rules, a majority of South Africans would support the creation of a workers’ party to contest elections and fight for workers’ rights, according to findings of the latest Afrobarometer survey.

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AD71: Support for democracy in South Africa declines amid rising discontent with implementation

In April 2015, South Africa marked the 21st anniversary of its inaugural elections under full universal suffrage, the country’s formal transition from apartheid to electoral democracy. South Africa’s political system is well-regarded by international experts and is one of only 11 on the continent that Freedom House currently classifies as “free” (Freedom House, 2015).1 Despite this success, 2015 is best remembered for its political turmoil, including corruption scandals, a combative atmosphere in Parliament, and nationwide student protests against higher education tuition.

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AD53: Les Ivoiriens considèrent que la compétition politique va de pair avec la violence

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Les différents évènements qui se sont déroulés en Côte d’Ivoire ont fait régner un climat d’insécurité dans la vie des Ivoiriens. Les forces de l’ordre, plus précisément la police et la gendarmerie, n’arrivent plus à mettre en confiance la population.

Les hommes politiques se servent de la population, surtout de la jeunesse, afin d’atteindre leurs buts. Cela conduit souvent à des violences et dans le pire des cas à une guerre civile, à laquelle les Ivoiriens ont déjà été victimes.

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AD68: Escalating political crisis belies Burundians’ strong support for democracy

Burundi is in the midst of a violent political crisis sparked when President Pierre Nkurunziza decided to seek, and then claimed, a controversial third term. Hundreds have been killed and more than 200,000 have fled (Office of the UNHCR, 2015) since Nkurunziza’s decision in April 2015 to ignore term-limit provisions of the Arusha peace agreement and the Burundian Constitution, as well as strong criticism from civil society and the international community.

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AD67: Where to start? Aligning Sustainable Development Goals with citizen priorities

On 1 January 2016, the United Nations’ new development agenda will take effect. Titled “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” it extends and supplements the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges facing citizens around the globe.

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AD66: South Africans have lost confidence in Zuma, believe he ignores Parliament and the law

The African National Congress (ANC) has won every national election since South Africa’s transition to universal suffrage in 1994. But while the ANC’s victory in 2014 – its fifth in a row – confirmed the party’s electoral dominance, its share of the vote declined from 66% in 2009 to 62%. New public opinion data from Afrobarometer indicate that the party’s leader, President Jacob Zuma, has lost significant citizen support since 2011.

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AD65: South Africans increasingly dissatisfied with their elected leaders’ performance

2015 has been a tumultuous year for South Africa’s democracy. A number of key government officials have been embroiled in corruption scandals, most notably the alleged mismanagement of state funds in the construction of President Jacob Zuma’s private residence in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. An investigation led by the Public Protector found that state funds were employed for non-security installations and determined that the president should repay “a reasonable percentage” of these costs (Public Protector of South Africa, 2014).

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AD64: South Africans disapprove of government’s performance on unemployment, housing, crime

For two decades, South Africa has been grappling with the agonizing triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality. President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation address in February 2015 called upon the nation to be united in advancing economic freedom. Most South Africans would acknowledge that despite gains in political freedom, much remains to be done to overcome poverty and bring economic justice to the Rainbow Nation.

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AD60: World Toilet Day: Eradicating open defecation still a challenge in Ghana

Ghana has been observing Toilet Day since 2009, four years before the United Nations designated 19 November as World Toilet Day. The purpose of the observance is to raise awareness about the challenges and deadly health consequences of poor sanitation in some parts of the world, particularly sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, and to encourage the formulation and implementation of policies that increase access to improved sanitation. (For more on sanitation, its implications for health, and the World Toilet Organization, see www.worldtoilet.org.)

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AD61: Elections Burkina Faso: Citizens trust electoral institutions, incumbent leaders

On 29 November 2015, Burkina Faso will conduct its first presidential and parliamentary elections since popular protests in October 2014 ousted long-serving President Blaise Compaoré. Initially planned for mid-October 2015, the elections were delayed by a coup in September, which was overturned amid street demonstrations and diplomatic pressure from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union, and the United Nations.

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AD59: Les Burkinabè soutiennent la démocratie mais demeurent insatisfaits de son fonctionnement actuel

ONLY AVAILABLE IN FRENCH.

La plupart des Burkinabè désirent la démocratie et rejettent toute forme de gouvernance non-démocratique. Toutefois, la proportion de la population satisfaite du fonctionnement de la démocratie au Burkina Faso a baissé par rapport à 2008, selon la dernière enquête d’Afrobaromètre.

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AD58: Day of Tolerance: ‘Neighbourliness’ a strength of Ghana’s diverse society

Ghanaians express high levels of tolerance for people of different religions and ethnicities. Eight in every 10 survey respondents say they would “somewhat” or “strongly” like to have people of different religious faiths (80%) and people of different ethnicities (81%) as neighbours (Figure 1).

In addition, 14% would not care if their neighbours were of a different religion or ethnicity. Only one in 20 (5%) say they would “somewhat” or “strongly” dislike living near people of different religions or ethnicities.

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AD57: Call the police? Across Africa, citizens point to police and government performance issues on crime

Crime and insecurity are major challenges in African countries, threats to both national development and individual quality of life. According to the Legatum Prosperity Index, which assesses countries’ safety and security as part of national wealth and well-being, only 11 African countries rank in the top 100 countries worldwide in safety and security; the top-ranked African country (Benin) is at No. 50 (Legatum Institute, 2014). The U.S government rates crime in most African countries as either critical or high (U.S. Overseas Security Advisory Council, 2015).

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AD56: Police corruption in Africa undermines trust, but support for law enforcement remains strong

According to the 2013 Global Corruption Report by Transparency International (TI), the police are perceived as the most corrupt institution in Africa. Of 36 countries worldwide where police are seen as the most corrupt institution, 20 are in Africa. According to the report, the police are the most often bribed institution, followed by the judiciary; 31% of people who came into contact with the police report having paid a bribe. Bribery rates of the police were 75% or higher in seven countries, including six African countries.

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