The post-2015 sustainable development discourse has emphasized the need for a more inclusive and participatory policy framework projecting the voices of the people in policy-making and implementation processes. Some commentators have argued that while the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have achieved some poverty reduction, the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) should be better designed to enhance the living standards of the people. Yet not much has been done to create the necessary space for citizens’ voices to be heard.
Since its transition to electoral democracy in 1993, Lesotho has experienced a series of upheavals related to the electoral process. Election results were vehemently contested in 1998, when the ruling Lesotho Congress for Democracy (LCD) won all but one of the country’s constituencies under a first-past-the-post electoral system, and a military intervention by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was required to restore order.
New data from Round 5 of the Afrobarometer, collected across an unprecedented 34 African countries between October 2011 and June 2013, demonstrates that “lived poverty” remains pervasive across the continent.
New findings from the Afrobarometer, based on surveys conducted in an unprecedented 34 African countries between October 2011 and June 2013, reveal widespread dissatisfaction with current economic conditions despite a decade of strong growth. Africans overwhelmingly reject their governments’ management of their economies, giving failing marks for job creation, improving the living standards of the poor, and narrowing the gaps between the rich and poor.
Freedom of speech is not just valuable as a democratic end in itself. It is strongly linked to popular perceptions of both media effectiveness and good governance, according to new data from Afrobarometer, collected during face-to-face interviews with 51,605 people in 34 countries during 2011-13 . People who indicate they are free to say what they think also report higher levels of trust in their leaders, lower levels of corruption, and better government performance – especially greater success in fighting corruption. Greater freedom of expression is also linked to mass media that are
A majority of people in 34 African countries condemn their governments' anticorruption efforts, according to Afrobarometer surveys of more than 51,000 people between October 2011 and June 2013.
Fifty-six percent of people said their governments have done a "fairly” or “very bad" job of fighting corruption; while just 35% say their governments have done this "fairly” or “very well". For the 16 countries surveyed since 2002, negative ratings have increased from 46% to 54% with only five countries showing a decline in these negative ratings over the last decade.
Across 34 African countries , people's ratings of government performance in providing basic services -- water, sanitation and electricity -- are poor and declining. Ratings for health and education are somewhat better, but also declining. Furthermore, large numbers identify serious shortcomings in these services. Ratings on the handling of HIV and AIDS are exceptions: absolute majorities approve of governments' performances.
Twenty-two of 34 African countries surveyed by Afrobarometer stake their countries' economic futures on development of mineral or oil production, but successful shepherding of these natural resources hinges on governments’ ability to manage them while maintaining stable democracies.
Afrobarometer survey data, covering 29 countries in sub-Saharan Africa reveal widespread citizen commitment to the principle of taxation and to taking responsibility – by paying their taxes – for national development. But taxation systems across the continent remain opaque to large majorities. Most find it difficult to know what they owe, and the public is even more in the dark when it comes to understanding how tax revenues are actually used by governments.
Afrobarometer's survey of more than 50,000 people in 34 countries shows broad support for women's equality among both men and women, and widespread acceptance of women’s leadership capabilities. But significant minorities disagree, and support for women as leaders is much weaker in North Africa.
In an Afrobarometer survey in December 2012, three quarters of adult Malians were worried that the country was moving in “the wrong direction.” At that time, at the depths of a profound national crisis, most Malians thought the future looked bleak. A year later, however, a follow-up survey reveals newfound hope in the future. By December 2013, two thirds of all Malians now consider that that the country is headed in the “right direction.”
Africans express growing attachment to democracy according to citizen attitude surveys conducted by the Afrobarometer in 34 countries1. Seven out of ten Africans prefer democracy to other political regimes, and the proportion of deeply committed democrats (that is, those who also reject authoritarian alternatives) has risen steadily over the past decade.
Democracy, in the famous words of the British politician Winston Churchill, “is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” After experiencing a twin crisis of separatist rebellion and a military coup in 2012, there were serious concerns about the future prospects of democracy in Mali. Would the short, but brutal, experience of authoritarian rule and a separatist struggle make the return to democracy possible in the short to medium term? Would the country rediscover its position as one of Africa’s promising democracies?
According to an Afrobarometer survey conducted in December 2013 with over 2400 respondents, the vast majority of Malians stress that their country must remain a single, unified nation. Citizens decisively reject the 2012 attempt by armed groups to create a breakaway state in Mali’s northern territories. But can the supporters of a unified country and advocates of jihad or autonomy settle their differences peacefully in the aftermath of an intense conflict, brutal occupation, and harsh military response? In short, is national reconciliation possible?
Women are mostly marginalised in African political processes, but they have one key area of equality with their menfolk, and that is in voting: The ballot does not discriminate, even if the results of the balloting frequently do not meet the expectations of the voter.
Since 2000, elections in Ghana have been lauded by observers both internally and externally as being “free and fair.” The losing political party, however, has consistently contested the election results. After the 2004 presidential election, three key opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) members challenged the results announced by the Electoral Commission (EC), suing the EC to publish detailed data from the election.
Political leaders in the five countries of the East African Community (EAC) – Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, and Burundi – have made concerted efforts to promote the benefits of an East African Federation (EAF). The signing of regional integration treaties is covered extensively in national and regional media. Yet many citizens in the two largest member states are not convinced that integration will lead to promised benefits for their countries.