Everyone says Africa is 'rising.' An 'Afrobarometer' poll questions that.
Africa's growth may be overstated, or new wealth may be accruing mainly among elites. Or both.
A version of this post originally appeared on Africa in Transition blog. The views expressed are the author's own.Skip to next paragraph
Torn by war and potential famine, South Sudan needs US humanitarian surge
The mad, mad debate over Rwanda -- 20 years after the genocide
Nigerian forces killed hundreds of unarmed in Giwa Barracks incident: Amnesty
Janjaweed in Darfur burn, loot refugee camp next to UN peacekeeper compound
Al Shabab leader hits popular chord in call to oust Kenyans, Ethiopians
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Afrobarometer is a research project coordinated by various institutions in African countries and with partners in thirty-one countries.
It recently conducted a survey of public opinion across 34 African countries that showed popular skepticism about the “Africa Rising” narrative. This, despite relatively high growth rates.
In a report released on Oct. 1, Afrobarometer data indicates that 20 percent of Africa’s population often goes without food, clean water, or medical care.
Further, more than half of those surveyed think that economic conditions in their country are bad or “very bad.” Some three quarters thought their government was doing a bad job in closing the gap between rich and poor.
RECOMMENDED: Think you know Africa? Take our geography quiz.
John Allen, writing on AllAfrica.com, suggests that the results indicate that higher benefits of growth are going to a wealthy elite or that official statistics are overstating growth, or possibly both.
Morten Jerven, in his recently book Poor Number, has shown the shortcomings of African statistics.
These, and other inconsistencies, make Allen’s hypothesis on where the majority of Africa’s wealth is directed, look credible.
The Christian Science Monitor has assembled a diverse group of Africa bloggers. Our guest bloggers are not employed or directed by the Monitor and the views expressed are the bloggers' own, as is responsibility for the content of their blogs. To contact us about a blogger, click here.