University Survey Examines Poverty in Africa

afrobarometerThe Afrobarometer is an independent research project co-founded by Michael Bratton, a University Distinguished Professor at Michigan State University. The survey began in 1989 and is conducted every several years. The fifth installment of the Afrobarometer includes survey data on Africans in 34 countries. The first data in the series which has been released concerns economic conditions and poverty.

The results show that 17 percent of Africans frequently do not have enough food. Some 22 percent of all African do not have regular access to clean drinking water and 20 percent lack adequate medical care. Nearly half of all African respondents said that they go without food, medicine, or drinking water at least occasionally.

Carolyn Logan, an assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University and deputy director of this year’s survey stated, “The survey results show there is a disconnect between reported growth and the persistence – in both frequency and severity – of poverty among ordinary citizens. It’s evident that African governments need to focus as much attention on poverty reduction efforts as they are on growing their economies.”

Partnering with Michigan State University on the project are the Center for Democratic Development in Ghana; the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa; the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy in the Republic of Benin; and the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi in Kenya.

More on the Afrobarometer can be found here.

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