Jobs, education, safety are concerns

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Lesley Wroughton Washington

AFRICANS see jobs, education and security as their biggest concerns, according to a poll conducted by ONE, the anti-poverty campaign co-founded by musicians Bono and Bob Geldof.

The poll came out on the eve of the summit of nearly 50 African leaders hosted by US President Barack Obama in Washington where deals worth billions of dollars are expected to be announced.

The poll offers a snapshot of priorities and attitudes among Africans from nine countries: Benin, Rwanda, Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya, Uganda, Ghana, Tanzania and Tunisia.

While most of the 4 500 respondents believe the US has had some impact on their country and community, they think the world’s richest nation has been slow in coming to the party of an economically rising Africa. They were not sure how supportive Obama had been.

The poll was conducted over a five-day period at the end of last month and surveyed 500 people in each country. The average age of respondents was about 26. The margin of error was 5.

Most respondents said the US had had “some impact” on their country and community. In Rwanda, however, 62 percent of respondents said the US had had a “big impact” on their country, as did 31 percent in Tanzania, and 37 percent in Uganda.

When it came to Obama’s support, 55 percent of respondents in Benin were not sure, as were 38 percent in Ghana, 41 percent in Rwanda, 47 percent in South Africa and 48 percent in Tunisia.

A large chunk of Nigerian respondents – 42 percent – believed Obama had been “very” supportive and 49 percent in Tunisia thought he had been somewhat supportive. – Reuters

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