Africans optimistic despite economic woes
LONDON — Most people in three African countries have an optimistic outlook despite continuing anger at corruption and economic woes, a survey has found.
South Africans, Nigerians and Kenyans all say healthcare and education will be better for the next generation.
More than three-quarters also say that young people who want a good life should stay in their countries rather than emigrate, the Pew report found.
The research agency interviewed 3,330 respondents for the study.
Respondents reported high levels of political engagement, with majorities saying that ordinary citizens could influence their governments if they make the effort.
More than half said they had voted in the past year or at some point in the past - roughly the same level as in the US. Economy About 70 percent of people in South Africa and Nigeria - sub-saharan Africa’s two largest economies - say their economies are in bad shape, along with just over half of Kenyans. Large majorities in all three countries also said a lack of jobs was a big problem.
But despite this, most believed that the economic outlook would improve in the next year.
Corruption Most South Africans, Nigerians and Kenyans believe that their countries are only run for the benefit of a few groups of people.
The majority of respondents say inequality has become worse and about two-thirds say many jobs only go to people who have personal connections.
Most expect this sorry state of affairs to continue - only a third of South Africans and Kenyans believe there will be less government corruption in their countries when today’s generation of children are grown up.
However, Nigerians are more optimistic, with almost two-thirds saying today’s children will face less corruption.
Food and education Beyond the general findings, Nigerians said food supply and energy shortages were their top priority. The charity Save the Children says up to half of all children under five are malnourished in some parts of north-eastern Nigeria, which has been wracked by an Islamist insurgency.
In South Africa, where students have been staging the biggest student protests since the end of apartheid, education was a big issue. The number of people concerned about poor quality schools had increased sharply since the previous year’s survey, Pew said.
However two-thirds said they were confident things would be better for future generations. — BBC
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