SDG 8 Tops Priority For Africans – Afrobarometer Findings Reveal


The Afrobarometer PanAfrican Profile report which was released today by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) indicates that majority of Africans have placed priority on achieving the SDG 8 which is looking at achieving descent work and economic growth .

According to the report, Democracy and Political Rights are the least of concerns to Africans.

Dr. Eden Selormey, Afrobarometer Field Operations Manager for West, North and East Africa who presented the highlights of the Afrobarometer findings indicated that respondents see good jobs and economic growth at the height of their prioritie.

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.

By the findings 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.”

He added that other Afrobarometer data reveal that African publics typically also value these goals including gender equality, climate change and that 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.”

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.”

The findings however 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.


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