Our history

Afrobarometer History Timeline


  • Three independent survey research projects, led by Afrobarometer co-founders Dr Michael Bratton, Dr Robert Mattes, and Dr E Gyimah-Boadi, merge to form the Afrobarometer.  The three core partners are: Michigan State University, Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa), and the Center for Democratic Development in Ghana (CDD-Ghana).  Dr. Michael Bratton is Afrobarometer executive director.
  • Round 1 surveys begin covering 12 countries: Botswana, Ghana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe.


  • Afrobarometer joins other regional barometers to form the Globalbarometer network.


  • Round 1 survey completed.


  • Round 2 surveys in 16 countries. New countries added: Cape Verde, Kenya, Mozambique and Senegal.


  • Afrobarometer receives “Best Data Set Award 2004” from the American Political Science Association.


  • Round 3 surveys begin in 18 countries. New countries added: Benin and Madagascar.
  • First Afrobarometer book published: Michael Bratton, Robert B Mattes and Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Public opinion, democracy, and market reform in Africa, Cambridge, New York: Cambridge University Press.


  • Round 3 surveys completed.
  • Round 3 Global Release held.


  • Afrobarometer conference on “The Micro-Foundations of Mass Politics in Africa” held in East Lansing, Michigan, USA.
  • CDD Ghana becomes the Network’s headquarters.


  • Round 4 surveys begin in 20 countries with addition of: Burkina Faso and Liberia.
  • Dr Gyimah-Boadi of CDD-Ghana takes over as executive director .
  • Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IREEP) in Benin becomes core partner for francophone Africa.
  • Michigan State University and University of Cape Town both become support units.
  • Afrobarometer publishes its 100th working paper, “The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the Evolution of Mistrust in Africa: An Empirical Investigation”, by Nathan Nunn and Leonard Wantchekon.


  • Round 4 surveys completed.
  • Afrobarometer Round 4 Global Release takes place.


  • Afrobarometer Policy Conference on “The Use of Empirical Evidence in the Policy Process” held in Accra, Ghana.
  • Globalbarometer develops its first global question module on attitudes toward democracy, to be included in Afrobarometer Round 5 questionnaires.


  • Round 5 surveys begin in 35 countries with addition of: Algeria, Burundi, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, Guinea, Mauritius, Morocco, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Togo, and Tunisia.
  • Afrobarometer establishes a partnership with Arab Barometer to conduct surveys in five North African countries during Round 5.
  • Institute for Development Studies (IDS) at University of Nairobi becomes core partner for East Africa.


  • Round 5 surveys completed.
  • Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR) in South Africa becomes new core partner for Southern Africa.
  • Round 5 Global Release begins in Johannesburg, South Africa.
  • Second Afrobarometer book published: Michael Bratton (ed.) Voting and Democratic Citizenship in Africa, Boulder: Lynne Rienner Publishers.


  • Round 5 Global Release concludes in Bamako, Mali.
  • Round 6 surveys begin in more than 35 countries, with addition of Gabon.


  • Round 6 surveys completed.


Round 7 surveys begin


  • R7 surveys completed
  • Disseminations of R7 survey findings completed in Mali, Nigeria, Tanzania, Ghana, Mauritius, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Togo, Namibia, Lesotho, eSwatini, Cameroon, Liberia, and the Gambia
  • Anglophone Summer School held at University of Cape Town, South Africa
  • The first R7 Pan-Africa Profile formerly Global Release on Africans' priorities, the SDGs, and government performance released in Ghana.
  • Animations/videos on preliminary R7 survey findings on migration and on citizen priorities and the SDGs released.