A new Afrobarometer data findings in 34 African countries released has indicated that Men are more invested in achieving peace, justice and strong institutions as compared to women across the countries.
According to the report, men respondents score 6% points more than women respondents who are eager to see their governments creating an atmosphere for peace, justice and building strong institutions.
Meanwhile, more women are much invested in poverty reduction with 5% points to men.
Although the Afrobarometer PanAfrican Profile report indicates that SDG 8 which is achieving descent work and economic growth is at the height of priorities for majority of Africans, Democracy and Political Rights are the least of concerns to Africans.
Presenting the highlights of the Afrobarometer findings, Dr. Eden Selormey, Afrobarometer Field Operations Manager for West, North and East Africa indicated that respondents who were taken though face to face interviews and standard questionnaires, SDG 2, 3 and 16 are also priority areas for Africans aside the SDG 8.
According to the new Afrobarometer findings good jobs and economic growth are highest of priorities of African citizens, but government performance on them is lagging.
Dr. Eden Selormey explained that “In the first of its Pan-Africa Profiles based on recent public-opinion surveys in 34 countries, Afrobarometer reports that “decent work and economic growth” is 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. According to her, the analysis is designed to help governments and advocates design more effective interventions through a better understanding of how their intended beneficiaries.
It has been established in the findings that all across the 34 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 well-being”) (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 report stated.
It also indicated that the highest-priority sectors often record the worst government performance when the findings were mapped onto the SDGs.
Also, it emerged that the availability of critical services and infrastructure provide another indication of overall public welfare which is critical to what people want.
Dr. Eden Selormey also explained that Afrobarometer has long captured data on popular priorities, incorporating a question that asks respondents to identify what they see as “the most important problems facing this country that government should address.”
To assess what these broad responses regarding most important problems (MIPs) can tell us about the popular prioritization of the SDGs, we begin by mapping or linking each MIP category as captured by Afrobarometer onto one of the SDGs (see Table 1). We can then find the total number of respondents who identified the problems that are linked to each SDG as an indication of the popular prioritization of the SDG.
The mapping process, she averred produces a clear hierarchy among the SDGs, where SDG8, decent work and economic growth, stands out as the top priority for African respondents.
“Fully 57% of respondents identify one of the problems linked to SDG8 as a top priority for government action, nearly double the second-highest score. Given that the sweeping aims captured under the SDG8 umbrella include the concept of “livelihoods” and people’s ability to secure the means to survive – and to attain many of the other goals highlighted in the SDGs – it is hardly surprising that this SDG occupies such a dominant position from a popular perspective.”
She said: “It is notable that the second position is occupied by SDG2 (“zero hunger”), since this SDG also taps into the overall economic well-being of societies and the other main source of livelihoods in most African countries, the agricultural sector. In all, 31% mention agricultural issues or food security as key priorities.”
By: PROSPER AGBNYEGA