Special to Bond
When asked about the most pressing problems in their countries, people in sub-Saharan Africa often recite a familiar list of challenges: poverty, health care, education, corruption, and other difficult issues. At the Pew Research Center, we have conducted multiple surveys in Africa that underscore just how daunting some of these problems seem to average people. The same surveys, however, have also revealed a widespread desire to tackle major problems, along with significant hope for the future. Public opinion in Africa, these studies show, sits at the crossroads between frustration and optimism.
First, let’s look at the frustrations. Economic challenges remain a top concern for many Africans. In a 2016 poll of Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa, more than eight-in-ten in all three nations said the lack of employment opportunities is a very big problem, and similar percentages said the same about poverty. And when asked why many people in their countries do not have jobs, the top reason given was that many jobs only go to people with connections.
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