Jobs, education, security top for Africans: poll

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Addis Ababa, 6 August 2014 (WIC) - Africans see jobs, education and security as their biggest areas of concern, according to a poll conducted by ONE, the anti-poverty campaign co-founded by Bono and Bob Geldof.

The poll comes on the eve of 4 to 6 August 2014 African summit of nearly 50 African leaders hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington where deals worth billions of dollars are expected to be announced.

The poll offers a snapshot of priorities for Africans and their attitudes towards the United States from nine countries from Benin and Rwanda to larger and more populous nations including Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania, and Tunisia.

While most of the 4,500 respondents believe that the United States has had some impact on their country and community, they think the world's richest nation has been slow coming to the party of an economically rising Africa.

The poll was conducted over a five-day period at the end of July surveying 500 people in each country, with the average age of respondent about 26.

The margin of error is plus or minus 5.

As Washington prepares to showcase its interest in Africa at the summit, most respondents believe the United States has had "some impact" on their country and community although not sure how supportive Obama had been.

Most respondents surveyed said the United States had "some impact" on their country and community.

In Rwanda, however, 62 per cent of respondents said the United States had a "big impact" on their country, as did 31 per cent in Tanzania, and 37 per cent in Uganda.

When it came to Obama's support, 55 per cent of respondents in Benin were not sure, as were 38 per cent in Ghana, 41 per cent in Rwanda, 47 per cent in South Africa and 48 per cent in Tunisia.

A large chunk of respondents, some 42 per cent, in Nigeria believed Obama had been "very" supportive and 49 per cent in Tunisia thought he had been somewhat supportive.

The poll measured attitudes towards governments and found that a vast majority believe their government had best addressed security issues, followed by education and corruption.

In Kenya, Nigeria and Tunisia, security was the biggest priority.

In Rwanda it was trade and jobs followed closely by education, security and health.

To respondents in South Africa, education and jobs were key areas of concern.

In Benin, 36 per cent of the people surveyed thought their government had best addressed agricultural and corruption issues.

Some 43 per cent of respondents in Kenya, 28 per cent in Tanzania, 34 per cent in Nigeria, and 81 per cent in Rwanda listed security as the area where their government had done a good job.

All respondents felt their governments needed to invest a lot more in agriculture. (theeastafrican.co.ke)