Development leaders recognize Afrobarometer achievements, ambitions for its third decade

Some participants from the Afrobarometer-OSF roundtable in Washington DC.

Development leaders gathered in Washington, D.C., last week to recognize Afrobarometer’s achievements over the past 20 years as well as its ambitions for a third decade of giving voice to ordinary Africans.

The pan-African research network won praise from Ambassador Johnnie Carson, senior adviser to the U.S. Institute of Peace, and U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee staff member Lesley Warner, among others, for building a two-decade repository of reliable independent data on African public opinion while nurturing a generation of young African researchers.

In a video message to the roundtable, Liberia’s former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf thanked the organization for its “valuable contributions … to the future success of Africa.”

“It is clear that Afrobarometer empowers those who want to see more transparency, more accountability, and more free, open, and inclusive societies,” she said, describing the nonprofit network as a “trusted source” of information about the continent.

Since 1999, Afrobarometer has conducted more than 275,000 interviews in 38 African countries, disseminated findings to policy and development actors throughout the world, and built African capacity for survey research, analysis, and communications.

Afrobarometer enters its third decade with strengthened governance and management structures designed to transform a pioneering project into a sustainable pan-African institution, co-founder and interim CEO E. Gyimah-Boadi told the gathering. Plans call for extending surveys to more African countries, building a more diversified donor base to ensure sustainability, and deepening strategic partnerships and technical collaboration in support of the African Union’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.