Religious leaders enjoy greater popular trust in Angola than other key institutions and leaders, the latest Afrobarometer survey shows, suggesting they could be valuable conduits for public information during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Angolan Armed Forces and traditional leaders follow religious leaders in trustworthiness, ahead of elected leaders and state institutions, according to survey respondents.
Religious and traditional leaders enjoy above-average trust among rural, poor, and older citizens – groups that may find it particularly difficult to keep abreast of information about COVID-19. Half of Angolans also see traditional leaders as influential in governing local communities. Influential and trusted leaders could play an important role in raising community awareness, as has been done in polio vaccination campaigns in the past.
Overall, however, large proportions of Angolans express distrust of all of these institutions and leaders, highlighting challenges in ensuring widespread awareness of, and compliance with, pandemic-related measures.