African countries urged to prioritise job creation, management of economic

Ghana and other African coun­tries have been urged to prioritise job creation and management of their economies to reverse the trend of increasing poverty.

According to the last Afrobarometer Survey, worsening economic conditions in Ghana had resulted in a large number of the population going without basic life ne­cessities such as enough food, clean water, and medical care.

Discussing the key findings of the latest survey in a virtual press conference yester­day, Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afrobarometer, said, the situation threat­ened democracy in Ghana and the rest of Africa due to dwindling confidence and trust in governments.

He said, it was critical that African governments re-strategise in curbing job losses as the outbreak of COVID-19 had furthered unemployment concerns.

“Food, clean water, medical treatment have become inaccessible because peo­ple are being impacted by the economic downturn.

There are high levels of lived poverty, meaning they frequently go without these necessities and this situation has rather ris­en steadily since 2014 and 2015,” he added.

On elections, Prof. Boadi-Gyimah said, although Africans were generally supportive of elections as the most legitimate way of choosing their leaders, there were growing concerns about elections being effective in holding leaders accountable.

He noted that, those concerns had affected believe in the multiparty system which provided competition with many arguing that the presence of many parties creates division and confusion.

“Though many Africans rate the quality of elections in their country positively, significant proportions report negative experiences and perceptions with regard to political violence and intimidation and secret balloting.

It is important that voters feel free to vote for the candidates of their choice without feeling pressured, including majorities in every country and ensure national election was free and fair,” Prof. Gyimah-Boadi added.

On climate change, he reiterated the need for intensified awareness climate change to attract broad support for government action towards addressing the impact of it.

He said the need for action was critical currently as the impact of climate change including droughts have been more severe over the past decade in some parts of the continent.

“It is time for governments to take steps now to limit climate change impacts, even if it is expensive due to its consequential effects on job losses and toll on the econo­my,” the Board Chair stated.

Afrobarometer, he said, would continu­ally share data-driven insights and evi­dence-based policy options to help generate impactful outcomes for citizens.

He reaffirmed Afrobarometer’s commit­ment to ensuring that the voices of African citizens were heard to enable their societies to thrive.


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