In the days before US President Barack Obama hosted dozens of heads-of-state in Washington, DC for the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit on August 4-6, 2014, The ONE Campaign and GeoPoll surveyed 4,500 citizens from nine African countries whose population is approximately 400 million people – one-third of the continent. The goal was to see if the priorities of the people lined up with those of their leaders.
The poll was conducted over five days in July 2014 using GeoPoll’s mobile phone-based SMS survey platform. In each country, 500 individuals were asked 10 questions. The countries include: Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Tunisia, Rwanda, Uganda, Tanzania, Benin, and Nigeria.
Among those polled, the US is considered Africa’s most important partner, with China not far behind, and Europe a distant third. The US was the top answer in 6 of the 9 countries. In Benin and Kenya – East Africa’s largest economy – respondents chose China as their most important partner while Tunisians chose Europe:
Africans surveyed listed their top concerns as education (21%), Jobs (21%), and Security (15%).
However, only 6% of respondents believe their government best addresses the issue of Jobs and only 15% believe it best addresses Education. On the other hand, 30% of respondents chose Security as the issue best addressed by their government.