Africans op­ti­mistic de­spite eco­nomic woes

Lesotho Times - - Business -

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

Many africans said they ad­mired China’s em­brace of tech­nol­ogy.

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