Good jobs and economic growth are the top priorities of African citizens, the Afrobarometer report has revealed.
However, findings from the report released Monday said governments’ performance on these issues across the continent lags.
The findings were based on recent public-opinion surveys in 34 countries.
“Decent work and economic growth” are Africans’ highest priority among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) but is also an area where governments are performing particularly poorly.
Other highly prioritized SDGs include those focusing on hunger, health, and “peace, justice and strong institutions.”
The new report links the “most important problems” identified by more than 45,800 Africans, as well as their assessments of their governments’ performance on these issues, to the goals of the UN Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development.
Afrobarometer explained the analysis is designed to help governments and advocates design more effective interventions through a better understanding of how their ordinary citizens perceive and prioritize these goals.
▪ Across 34 surveyed countries; unemployment tops the most important problems that Africans want their governments to address, followed by health, infrastructure/roads, water/sanitation, education, management of the economy, and poverty.
▪ Based on mapping the “most important problems” identified by Afrobarometer respondents onto the SDGs, SDG8, “decent work and economic growth,” is the highest-priority SDG (57%), by a wide margin.
▪ Each of seven other SDGs captures the attention of between 20% and 31% of respondents, including SDG2 (“zero hunger”) (31%), SDG3 (“good health and wellbeing”) (27%), SDG16 (“peace, justice and strong institutions”) (26%), SDG9 (“industry, innovation and infrastructure”) (24%), SDG6 (“clean water and sanitation”) (24%), SDG1 (“no poverty”) (22%), and SDG4 (“quality education”) (21%),
▪ The remaining SDGs draw only very modest levels of attention from respondents as “most important” priorities. However, other Afrobarometer data reveal that African publics typically also value these goals (e.g. gender equality, climate change), even if they are not the first things on their minds in the struggle for daily survival.
▪ Poverty and low socioeconomic development, both at the individual level and the country level, strongly shape priorities. Jobs/economic growth and good governance are higher priorities for wealthier individuals and for more economically developed countries. Among poorer people and countries, jobs and growth are still important but people place higher priority on fighting hunger and having adequate supplies of clean water and energy.
▪ The highest-priority sectors often record the worst government performance (e.g. jobs and economic management).