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Africa not rising: survey reveals lack of progress

John Allen | 10/18/2013, 6 a.m.

• 49 percent had gone without water sometimes, 21 percent many times.

• 41 percent had gone without cooking fuel sometimes, 13 percent many times.

• 76 percent said they had gone without cash income sometimes in the past year, 44 percent many times.

Other findings of the survey:

• People in Burundi, Guinea, Niger, Senegal and Togo experienced the highest average levels of lived poverty, while those living in Algeria and Mauritius experienced the lowest.

• People living in countries undergoing or emerging from conflicts appear to be particularly vulnerable to lived poverty, especially food shortages. Five of the seven countries that experience the highest levels of nutritional deprivation — Burundi, Liberia, Madagascar, Sierra Leone and Niger — are all emerging from recent conflicts. And the two worst performers in North Africa — Egypt and Sudan — have recently faced internal conflicts as well.

• Comparing regional experiences of lived poverty, the survey found that both West and East Africans encounter the most shortages, while North Africans experience the lowest levels of deprivation.

Afrobarometer also said that rural people tended to be poorer than citizens living in urban areas, and that those with access to electricity, water, paved roads, sewage systems and health clinics were usually better off than those without.

Countries included in the 2013 results are: Algeria, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Results from Ethiopia, the 35th country to be surveyed, are still being compiled.

The core partners coordinating the Afrobarometer are the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, the Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy in Benin, the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Nairobi, the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation in South Africa and the Department of Political Science at Michigan State University in the United States, backed by another 30 independent research institutes in universities and the private sector in each of the countries surveyed.

This article was originally published by New American Media.