Au cours des dernières années, quatre pays de l’Afrique de l’Est – le Kenya, la Tanzanie, l’Ouganda, et le Burundi – ont connu une évolution politique et démocratique différente. Deux d’entre eux, le Burundi et l’Ouganda, ont connu des guerres civiles qui ont provoqué des dégâts multiformes, alors que les deux autres ont bénéficié d’une relative stabilité.
Les questions religieuses connaissent un regain d’intérêt dans les espaces publics de nos pays. Au Niger, elles sont devenues préoccupantes en raison des évènements récents qui ont marqué notre sous-région (occupation du Nord Mali par de groupes djihadistes, Boko Haram). C’est pourquoi elles sont à l’agenda des gouvernements qui déploient beaucoup d’efforts pour asseoir les bases de la sécurité collective de leurs pays.
La bonne nouvelle: La majorité des Béninois sont satisfaits de la performance des députés des législatures précédentes à l’Assemblée Nationale.
La mauvaise nouvelle: En comparaison avec 2011, les évaluations des citoyens concernant la performance et la fiabilité des députes des précédentes législatures ont chutés. La confiance des Béninois à l’endroit de leurs députés a diminué, et la proportion de ceux qui trouvent que « tous » ou « la plupart » des députés sont impliqués dans les affaires de corruption a connu une hausse drastique.
Selon la plus récente enquête d’Afrobaromètre, la majorité des Béninois apprécient la performance de leurs députés à l’Assemblée Nationale et leurs demandent de contrôler les actions du gouvernement et de décider des lois pour le pays. Une des lois qui défraye la chronique reste celle du projet de loi sur la révision de la constitution.
Based on comparative analysis of original survey data from Ghana, Zambia and South Africa, this paper assesses the attitudes of African citizens towards democracy. Is democracy valued intrinsically (as an end in itself) or instrumentally (e.g., as a means to improving material living standards)? We find as much popular support for democracy in Africa as in other Third-Wave regions, but less satisfaction with the performance of elected governments.
Less than a year after the inauguration of a new democratic government, the attitudes of Nigerians towards democracy and markets were tested in a national sample survey conducted in early 2000. The findings reveal a fervent attachment to democratic values in Nigeria, as well as a remarkably high assessments of the new regime’s performance. Whether these views reflect a durable consensus, or merely temporary “transition euphoria” that may yet be undermined by the difficulties of achieving real political and economic change remains to be seen.
On 29 June 2000, Ugandans faced an historic choice. They went to the polls to select a form of government for their country. The referendum question asked citizens to choose between an existing >movement= system and a >multiparty= system. At stake in the vote was the popularity of the >no-party= political arrangements that have evolved in Uganda over the last fifteen years, bringing to the country a measure of stability and growth.
Malians have had a decade or more of experience with political and economic reforms. To what extent do they support these efforts, and why? Surveys reveal several unique characteristics of Malian public opinion relative to that in other countries studied. Malians retain a strong attachment to their cultural roots, and local politics and traditional leaders continue to shape political understandings more than national politics.
All too often, the orientations of the general public towards political and economic change are unknown, undervalued or ignored. How do Africans understand democracy? Which aspects of good governance and structural adjustment do they support or reject? And how do they behave as citizens and as actors in civil society? The Afrobarometer seeks to answer these and many other, related questions. By giving voice to African citizens, it challenges the view that elites understand the preferences of “the people,” including minority groups within society.
Two decades of ZANU-PF rule has left Zimbabweans yearning for change. The survey revealed deep discontent with the democratic performance of the government and the management of the economy. Citizens overwhemingly reject one-man and one-party rule and clear majorities support democracy and prefer it to any other alternative. The constitutional reform exercise that coincided with the survey sowed seeds of hope at the time and helped to spur the current quest for change in the country.
Lesotho has been governed in many different ways since its founding as a nation in the mid-19th century, including episodes of both democratic and authoritarian rule. This history is reflected in the ambivalence shown by Basotho in response to questions on an Afrobarometer questionnaire administered in early 2000. Almost half the sampled population were unable to define democracy, a figure higher than in any other southern African country.
Botswana is the longest surviving democracy in Southern Africa, which others often seek to emulate. In order to observe popular satisfaction with democratization, an Afrobarometer survey was conducted in Botswana in 2000. The results reflect long-standing democratic values and the firm entrenchment of democratic institutions. Bastswana demonstrate their satisfaction with democracy and the legitimacy of the state, by claiming that the government exercises power within legal means and equally represents the interests of all citizens.
The results of a 2001 national public opinion survey in Tanzania demonstrate significant public support for economic and political reform, but the legacy of 30 years of socialist one-party rule is evident as well. This report details patterns of public opinion that differ in important ways from those observed elsewhere in Africa, and that present several apparent paradoxes. First, while Tanzanians are very dissatisfied with the state of their national economy, they also display the highest levels of support for economic reform.
Eight years into South Africa's experiment with inclusive democracy, we look to the views of ordinary citizens -the ultimate consumers of what democratic governments supply- for perhaps the most conclusive assessment of the quality of democratic governance. In general, all South Africans are becoming more positive about the overall democratic regime, and more optimistic about where it will be in 10 years time.
Structural theories predict that the cues of social identity, particularly ethnicity, should exert a strong influence upon voting choices and party support in developing societies which are characterized by low levels of education and minimal access to the news media. To explore these issues, this study seeks to analyze the influence of ethno-linguistic and ethno-racial characteristics on identification with the governing party in a dozen African states.
The results of a second Afrobarometer survey in Uganda, conducted in August-September 2002, reveal that Ugandans continue to display a considerable degree of satisfaction with both their political and economic systems. But as memories of Uganda's traumatic pre-Movement past fade and the public's focus shifts from internal conflict and recovery to stability and development, there are also indications of increasingly critical assessments of the nation's other problems, especially economic ones, as well as waning patience with the government's efforts to address them.
The first Kenya Afrobarometer survey was conducted in August-September 2003, just eight months after the first electoral transfer of power in the country's history. This national sample survey included 2398 interviews in all eight provinces of the country. Overall, the survey findings clearly capture the palpable sense of almost unbounded optimism and hope that permeated Kenya in the days and months following the election.
This report, drawing on the second round of the Afrobarometer survey, analyses satisfaction with democracy and perceived performance of the New Deal government in Zambia, which took the reins of power after the heavily contested tripartite elections of December 2001. The May 2003 Afrobarometer survey was carried out about one year and three months into the rein of this "New Deal" government.
This report probes the public mood in Zimbabwe in mid-2004, documents changes in public opinion since 1999, and compares Zimbabwe to other African countries. The results are situated in the context of the country's current economic and political crises. On the economy, we find that Zimbabweans feel economically deprived and report more persistent hunger than in any other country surveyed. On the political front, Zimbabweans are losing faith in democracy and increasing numbers acquiesce to the idea of single-party rule.
Across sub-Saharan Africa, new democracies have emerged mainly in the context of relatively effective states. Using aggregate indicators of governance and new public opinion data, this article shows which aspects of state building are most important. The scope of state infrastructure and the delivery of welfare services have little impact. But the establishment of political order -especially as experienced through improvements in personal security- and the legitimacy of the state -as measured by leaders' adherence to a rule of law- are critical to democratization.
Just under half of South Africa's adult citizens think that the country's new system of local government is working well. Moreover, the level of popular approval varies sharply across provinces and may be declining over time. With reference to overall local government performance, rural residents are less likely to be satisfied than urban dwellers; and Blacks tend to be less satisfied than people of other races.
This paper examines the conditions that promote popular legitimating beliefs that provide support for governments that are attempting to serve their entire populations competently and in a manner that is relatively impartial and equitable. Legitimacy as a feature of government reduces the transaction costs of governing by reducing reliance on coercion and monitoring.
I explore public perceptions of corruption in the Senegalese case using public opinion survey data collected by the Afrobarometer in 2005. The primary questions I ask in this paper are: what can we learn by asking citizens to report their perceptions of corruption in social and political surveys as compared to a sort of ethnographic approach? What do these survey questions tell us about citizens’ perceptions and experiences with corruption in the Senegalese case? Finally, how do perceptions of corruption vary between individuals, and within the national state?
The role of traditional leaders in modern Africa, especially in modern African democracies, is complex and multifaceted. The debate is defined by “traditionalists” and “modernists.” Traditionalists regard Africa’s traditional chiefs and elders as the true representatives of their people, accessible, respected, and legitimate, and therefore still essential to politics on the continent. “Modernists,” by contrast, view traditional authority as a gerontocratic, chauvinistic, authoritarian and increasingly irrelevant form of rule that is antithetical to democracy.
Analysts of African political party systems frequently assert that political parties and party system development are central to the effective functioning and eventual consolidation of democracy on the continent. Due to both lack of data and elite bias, analysts have overlooked a critical link in the chain of party system evolution: mass attitudes toward political parties generally, and towards opposition parties in particular. Afrobarometer data reveals that there is, on average, a very large (20-percentage point) gap in levels of public trust between ruling and opposition parties.
Trust is increasingly perceived as having significant effect on trade, public goods provision, conflict resolution and even democratic consolidation. In this paper we investigate the historical determinants of trust within Africa, by testing for a long-term impact of the intensity of the slave trades on the level of interpersonal trust and trust in local institutions.
Since 1999, the Afrobarometer has conducted more than 105,000 interviews to collect data on the attitudes and behaviors of ordinary Africans in reforming polities and economies across the continent. One of the project’s key goals has been to open a window onto how average citizens understand their political, social and economic milieu. While we have often had a great deal of information on the attitudes and behaviors of African elites, the orientations of the general public towards political and economic change have, to a considerable extent, been unknown, undervalued and ignored.