The Afrobarometer delegation wrapped up their four-day visit to Washington, D.C., on Friday after holding high-profile meetings to showcase the breadth and depth of the pan-African network’s research. Board Chair E. Gyimah-Boadi, CEO Joseph Asunka, Director of Analysis Carolyn Logan, and Chief Operating Officer Felix Biga used the opportunity to discuss expanding the scope and scale of Afrobarometer’s work and exploring new areas of cooperation.
The following are seven key takeaways from the visit:
At a meeting with officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Afrobarometer CEO Joseph Asunka presented linkages between Afrobarometer data and the new U.S. strategy toward sub-Saharan Africa. During the hour-and-a-half-long event with an in-person and online audience of 50+, parties exchanged views on Afrobarometer insights on youth disengagement from democracy, violent conflict, and the impact of COVID-19 on business performance. Gender equality, climate-change literacy, poverty, and political fragility were also discussed. The high-level engagement ended on a high note, with the USAID team reaffirming the value of Afrobarometer data to their work in Africa.
New findings from Afrobarometer’s Round 9 surveys were among the highlights of a briefing for the Africa Program of the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), led by Senior Director Dave Peterson. NED is an independent, non-profit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions worldwide. Afrobarometer Director of Analysis Carolyn Logan presented an overview of the breadth and depth of Afrobarometer’s work before sharing highlights of Round 9 survey results from 20 countries where surveys have been completed, and the data are ready. Subsequent discussions centred mainly on apparent declines in widespread rejection of military rule, disinformation, Russia’s role in the Sahel, and migration. NED expressed great interest in Africans’ attitudes toward migrants and refugees.
Researchers, specialist civil society organisations, and other interest groups took part in a public briefing at the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). After a presentation highlighting the value of Afrobarometer data for operationalising the U.S. government’s strategy toward Africa, discussions focused on the goals of the upcoming U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit and their alignment with the priorities of African citizens, along with social cohesion, drivers of discrimination, and the perceptions of African youth on authoritarian alternatives.
Building on commitments in previous years, funding for Afrobarometer work received a renewed push, with USIP starting the process of working with Afrobarometer as a partner.
At the Obama Foundation, the delegation discussed preparations for the Obama Foundation Democracy Forum scheduled for 17-18 November 2022 in New York, including a planned side event for the 35 Obama Fellows. The foundation invited Afrobarometer to have a seat at the conference and engage with fellows on using and benefiting from Afrobarometer data and analytic products.
A high-level roundtable brought together senior officials from the U.S. State Department, USAID, the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, civil society groups, and the USIP Africa Program. As a key takeaway from this meeting, Afrobarometer will share findings from Round 9 and prior surveys with U.S. government officials and the African diplomatic corps to help inform discussions at the U.S.-Africa Leaders’ Summit in December.
The delegation met with the World Bank Africa Chief Economist Andrew Dabalen and his team on ongoing engagements with the World Bank’s Africa Fellows and Thought Africa Partnership programs. Dabalen confirmed the bank’s commitment to continue the fellow’s program. The team also discussed other areas of collaboration, including plans to establish knowledge ecosystems across Africa.
Afrobarometer (AB) is a trusted source of high-quality data and analysis on what Africans think. With an unmatched track record of 350,000+ interviews in 39 countries, representing the views of 80% of the African population, AB is leading the charge to bridge the continent’s data gap. AB data inform many global indices, such as the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Transparency International’s Global Corruption Barometer, and the World Bank’s World Governance Indicators. The data are also used for country risk analyses and by credit rating and forecasting agencies such as the Economist Intelligence Unit. All AB data sets are publicly available and may be analysed free of charge using AB’s online data analysis tool.