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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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Tanzanians approach competitive election with confidence in freedom to choose

As Tanzanians approach a competitive election for president, a majority of citizens say they trust the National Electoral Commission “a lot” or “somewhat,” and most feel “completely free” to vote for the candidate of their choice, according to new Afrobarometer survey findings.

Despite this confidence, significant proportions of the population voice concerns about the likelihood of a fair vote count, about bribery of voters, and about biased media coverage, and some citizens express fear of election-related intimidation and violence.

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10 things to know about Afrobarometer data & methodology.

1. Afrobarometer has collected data on the perceptions and attitudes of African citizens since 1999.

2. Our data are collected from nationally representative samples.

3. All respondents are randomly selected; every adult citizen has an equal chance of being selected.

4. Samples are distributed across urban/rural areas in proportion to their share of the national population.

5. We use face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice.

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Tanzanians support critical free press, commend its performance, but want less negative reporting

A majority of Tanzanians support a critical and independent news media, but that support has weakened as more citizens express a desire for less negative news reporting, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

Two-thirds of Tanzanians say the media should constantly investigate and report on government mistakes and corruption, and a majority say the media should report any views and ideas without government control. But on both issues, support is significantly lower in 2014 than it was in 2012.

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Tanzanians express dissatisfaction with current living conditions, perceive declining economic conditions

Despite annual economic growth rates averaging of 7%, a majority of Tanzanians say their current living conditions are bad, according to the 2014 Afrobarometer survey.

Negative public perceptions of the country’s economic condition are also significantly higher than a decade ago.

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Tanzanians see increased corruption, ineffective fight against it

A majority of Tanzanians say that the level of corruption in the country has increased over the past year, according to the latest Afrobarometer survey.

The police, tax officials, and judges and magistrates perceived as the most corrupt. Citizens’ rating of the government’s handling of the fight against corruption has improved slightly since 2012 but still remains mostly negative – and far more negative than a decade ago. Tanzanians
laud news media’s effectiveness and show considerable support for the role played by the media in exposing corruption.

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China influence seen as strong, positive in Tanzania

China has a greater influence on Tanzania than any other country and is a preferred model for Tanzania’s future development, the latest Afrobarometer survey suggests.

Tanzanians see China’s economic and political influence on Tanzania as mostly positive, the survey shows. But only about half of Tanzanians say that Chinese assistance does “somewhat of a good job” or “a very good” of meeting Tanzania’s needs.

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