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News release

Job performance of MPs, local councillors: Are representatives serving Africa’s voters or themselves? (Afrobarometer findings)

14 Sep 2016 Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt, Eswatini, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, São Tomé and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Members of Parliament and local government councillors across Africa have earned little trust and largely negative performance ratings from their constituents, a new report from Afrobarometer shows.

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.
  • Large majorities say at least “some” of their MPs and local government councillors are corrupt, including one-third of citizens who see “most” or “all” of these elected representatives as corrupt. Across 18 countries tracked over the past decade, public perceptions of corruption have increased for both MPs (by 8 percentage points) and local government councillors (by 6 points).
  • A majority (59%) of citizens say that officials who commit crimes “often” or “always” go unpunished. In 18 countries tracked over the past decade, this perception has increased by 13 percentage points.
  • About three-fourths of Africans say their MPs and councillors “never” or “only sometimes” listen to what their constituents have to say.
  • More than two-thirds (69%) of Africans believe that political party leaders are more concerned with pursuing their own political ambitions than with representing the people’s interests.
  • Fewer than half of Africans approve of the job performance of their MPs (45%) and local government councillors (49%). Disapproval is especially high among citizens who see their leaders as driven by personal ambition rather than public service, as corrupt, or as uninterested in what their constituents have to say.

Click here to download the full press release.

The report (Afrobarometer Dispatch No. 115) is available at