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News release

Afrobarometer surveys director urges young researchers to empower Africa’s narrative and showcase the continent’s analytical excellence

29 Nov 2023
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News release

“Writing never stops. This is the starting point. Take the lessons that you have learnt here  and demonstrate to the world that not only can we produce our own data, but that we  are capable of analysing it,” Afrobarometer surveys director Boniface Dulani told  up-and-coming researchers at the closing ceremony of the Afrobarometer Pretoria  summer school on Friday. 

The three-week training programme equips African scholars with solid skills in research  design, survey methodology, and the use of social statistics. Afrobarometer manages  the programme in collaboration with the University of Pretoria’s Future Africa, a pan African research institute pioneering approaches to research and innovation on the  continent and beyond. 

“One thing that excites me is not only do we have access to the [Afrobarometer] data,  but as Africans, we also understand the context from which the data comes,” Dulani  added. 

In his remarks to the group, Neeraj Mistry, deputy director of Future Africa, said, “In a  world of mis- and disinformation, we need solid data and good analysis of it. So we are  relying on you to give us the evidence base, to give us real-time analysis from the ground  from real people’s contributions. That’s the kind of evidence that we need in order to  make change happen.” 

The 19 summer school participants – 50% women – represented 13 countries: Benin,  Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia,  Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, and Uganda. 

Reflecting on the summer school experience, David Asante-Darko from the Ghana  Center for Democratic Development commented, “The highlight of my Afrobarometer  summer school was my exposure to the diverse ways in which Afrobarometer data can  be analysed to speak convincingly to African realities. 

“As a member of an African community dedicated to the fight against the decline of  democracy, it is assuring to have discovered that I have unfettered access to a wealth  of credible and unbiased data,” Asante-Darko further noted. 

Another participant, Caroline Nakayiza from Uganda, remarked, “As a data collector, I  have picked a lot from the summer school. It has been a great journey – I have explored  a new country and made new friends and connections.”

After weeks of intense learning, the participants are producing research papers that will  feed into Afrobarometer’s publications series, advancing the organisation’s goal to “let  the people have a say!”