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Turning raw data into useful information: Ashesi University sharpens students’ statistical skills

  Josephine Appiah-Nyamekye is Afrobarometer regional communications coordinator for anglophone West Africa, based at the Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana). jappiah@afrobarometer.org

Take a ton of raw data and a pinch of passion, stir vigorously, and what do you get? A lot of food for thought.

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Quest for greener pastures: Four in 10 Ghanaians have considered emigrating

Four in 10 Ghanaians have considered emigrating, although far fewer are actually taking steps to leave the country, a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

The study reveals that most potential emigrants are in search of more favourable economic prospects. A majority would prefer to live outside Africa, with North America and Europe being the most preferred destinations.

The data is released as the world expresses outrage over reports of slavery and the inhuman treatment meted out to migrants in Libya.

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Afrobarometer Round 7 survey in Ghana

At a glance

Attitude towards emigration: About one-third of Ghanaians declare an intention to emigrate within a year or two, while about one in ten Ghanaians are currently planning to emigrate.

Political party vigilantism: Majority of Ghanaians (88%)  “approve” that government prosecutes and punishes members of political party vigilante groups that engage in acts of lawlessness,  irrespective of their party affiliation.

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Ghanaians decry ‘galamsey,’ favour government providing alternative livelihood support

A majority of Ghanaians support the government’s efforts to clamp down on illegal small-scale mining, popularly known as “galamsey,” a recent Afrobarometer survey indicates.

The survey also shows that Ghanaians overwhelmingly favour the government’s proposed initiatives to develop alternative livelihoods for those affected by the clampdown.

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Ghanaians call for tough punishment for corrupt public officials

A majority of Ghanaians demand stiff punishment for corrupt public officials, including jail time, restitution of stolen funds, and public shaming, according to a new Afrobarometer survey.

Findings show widespread popular perceptions of corruption in both government and private-sector leadership, with the police and judges most widely seen as corrupt. But public approval of the government’s efforts to combat corruption has increased dramatically since 2014, after more than a decade of decline.

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Women’s interest in politics increases, though gender gap remains

Ghanaian women’s interest in public affairs and political discussion increased between 2012 and 2015, reversing a decade-long decline, a new analysis of Afrobarometer data indicates.  This shifting attitude of women toward politics was recorded prior to the seventh presidential and parliamentary election of the 4th Republic, when there was a clarion call for an increase in women’s participation and representation in the country’s politics.

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Geocoded data

Subnationally geocoded Afrobarometer data

Analyze the priorities, preferences, experiences, and opinions of more than 200,000 African citizens in 28,000 localities.

In partnership with:

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Access to justice still elusive for many Africans, Afrobarometer survey finds

In most African countries, substantial barriers still inhibit citizens’ access to justice, a new Afrobarometer analysis finds. 

Based on a special access-to-justice module in national surveys in 36 African countries, the sobering report identifies long delays, high costs, corruption, the complexity of legal processes, and a lack of legal counsel as major obstacles for citizens seeking legal remedies.

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How good are Africa's elections? Afrobarometer video.

Video transcript:

Dozens of African countries regularly conduct national and local elections.

Each election picks a winner.

But beyond winners and losers, the quality of each election also shapes how people feel about their political system in general.

Free and fair elections make people want more democracy.

Elections tainted by repression, fraud, or violence have the opposite effect.

So how good are Africa’s elections?

Afrobarometer surveyed  more than 53,000 citizens in 36 countries, in every region of Africa.

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Do Africans still want democracy? Afrobarometer findings warn of democratic recession, point to long-term gains

A decade-long upward trend in African citizens’ demand for democracy has ended with a downward turn since 2012, according to a new Afrobarometer analysis.
But despite warning signs of a democratic recession, public demand for democracy remains higher than a decade ago, and most Africans still say they want more democracy than they’re actually getting – a good basis for future democratic gains.

One important factor: the quality of elections. African countries with high-quality elections are more likely to show increases in popular demand for democracy.

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World Development Information Day: China’s growing presence in Africa wins positive popular reviews (Afrobarometer findings)

Key findings

  • On average across 36 African countries, China is the second-most-popular model for national development (cited by 24% of respondents), trailing only the United States of America (30%). About one in 10 respondents prefer their former colonial power (13%) or South Africa (11%) as a model.
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Job performance of MPs, local councillors: Are representatives serving Africa’s voters or themselves? (Afrobarometer findings)

Key findings

  • Across 36 African countries, fewer than half of respondents say they trust their MPs (48%) and local councillors (46%) “somewhat” or “a lot.” Among 12 public institutions and leaders, MPs and local councillors rank eighth and ninth in public trust.
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Trustworthy institutions play vital role in Africa’s development, new Afrobarometer findings suggest

Key findings

  • Across 36 countries in 2014/2015, Africans express more trust in informal institutions such as religious and traditional leaders (72% and 61% respectively) than in the formal executive agencies of the state (on average 54%).
  • That said, people find certain executive agencies, such as the national army and the state presidency, to be quite trustworthy (64% and 57% respectively), especially when compared with legislative and electoral institutions (47% and 44% respectively).
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Youth Day: Does less engaged mean less empowered? Political engagement lags among Africa’s youth

Political and civic engagement by African youth is declining and is particularly weak among young women, according to new Afrobarometer survey findings.

The findings, which are being released on International Youth Day 2016 (August 12), show African youth are less likely than their elders to engage in a variety of political and civic activities, including voting, attending community meetings, joining others to raise an issue, and contacting leaders. Young women express significantly less interest in public affairs than young men.

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World Press Freedom Day: Strong public support for ‘watchdog’ role backs African news media under attack

Amid growing concerns about government restrictions on media freedom, Africans overwhelmingly support an independent media that holds government accountable, according to new survey findings from Afrobarometer.

The findings, which are being released on World Press Freedom Day (May 3), show that a majority of African citizens support the media’s “watchdog” role, see the media as effective in revealing government mistakes and corruption, and affirm that journalists “rarely” or “never” abuse their freedom by publishing lies.

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Reportage Afrobaromètre Ireep, 2016, 01 mars avril sur l'électricité

Les coupures d’électricité rotatives peuvent défrayer la chronique; l’absence complète d'infrastructures électriques pas souvent. Tous ces deux phénomènes découlent du déficit en énergie électrique de l'Afrique, un obstacle important au développement humain et socio-économique avec des effets pernicieux sur la santé (imaginez des cliniques sans équipement de survie et sans médicaments et vaccins réfrigérés), l'éducation, la sécurité, et la croissance des entreprises.

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World Health Day: Despite gains, barriers keep health care high on Africans’ priority list (Afrobarometer survey)

Almost half of Africans go without needed health care, and one in seven have to pay bribes to obtain needed care, according to new findings from Afrobarometer.

Released on World Health Day (April 7), the survey findings show that citizens across 36 African countries rank health care as their second-most-important national problem and priority for additional government investment. Public ratings of government performance in improving basic health services have worsened over the past decade: Almost half of Africans say their government is doing “fairly” or “very” badly.

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World Water Day: Africans expect governments to do a better job of ensuring safe water and sanitation, survey finds

Almost half of Africans go without enough clean water for home use, and a majority have to leave their compounds in order to access water, according to new findings from Afrobarometer.

Released on World Water Day (March 22), the survey findings give voice to citizens who call on their governments to do a better job of ensuring access to water and sanitation. Public ratings of government performance in providing water and sanitation services have worsened over the past decade: A majority say their government is doing “fairly” or “very” badly.

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Powerless: Lack of grid access, unreliable electricity supply still plague majority of Africans

While more Africans live within reach of an electric grid than a decade ago, only four in 10 enjoy a reliable power supply, according to new survey findings from Afrobarometer. In some countries, that proportion is four in 100.

Based on nearly 54,000 interviews in 36 African countries in 2014/2015, Afrobarometer’s report concludes that more than a century after the invention of the light bulb, a majority of Africans are still in the dark, either intermittently or constantly.

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Africans tolerant on religion, ethnicity, nationality, and HIV, but not on homosexuality, Afrobarometer survey finds

Contrary to common portrayals, Africans express high degrees of tolerance for people from different ethnic groups, people of different religions, immigrants, and people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), newly released Afrobarometer survey findings show.

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Corruption perceptions in Ghana: Different approaches reach similar conclusions

Blog post by Daniel Armah-Attoh

Ghana’s place at the forefront of African democracy and good governance has been called into question by a recent series of corruption scandals. Quite dishearteningly, some public officials have been found defending alleged wrongdoers in media discussion programs, and some whistle-blowers suffered reprisals instead of being protected.

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Corruption in Ghana: Above the din of official protestation, citizens’ voices are being heard

Sometimes you complete a study, release the results, and then … listen to the resounding silence.

Other times your results hit a nerve – and the nerve tries to hit back, attacking everything from your findings to your methodology to the integrity of your intentions.

Then there are occasions – still too rare – when the initial emotional backlash is followed by a willingness to consider the possibility that the voices of everyday citizens might actually be worth hearing and acting on.

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