Extract from the latest and damning IEA Report on the most important problems confronting the country. I dare say this is the ‘real’ state of the nation. Generally, the report corroborates other findings in the Afrobarometer survey but fails to provide a baseline for comparison – i.e. what was the situation a year or two ago. It will also be interesting to see the fully published survey instrument and datasets so those of us who are book-long like scrutinize it ‘well well’. Regardless, methinks the report makes some interesting revelations.
- ECONOMY: “About a fifth (20%) of respondents [1,200 people sampled with probability proportional to size] consider unemployment to be the most critical problem. This is followed by education (12.3%), management of the economy (8.3%), electricity (7.3%) and roads (6.9%). Others are water supply (6.7%), transportation (5%), health (4.6%), wages and salaries (4.2%) and poverty/destitution (4.1%). The least of the worries are: international war, AIDS, land issues, civil war, gender issues/women’s rights, discrimination/inequality, political violence and drought. At the local level, unemployment is still the dominant problem though it is more endemic in the urban places (22.7%) than the rural areas (16.0%). Again, EDUCATION, ROADS, WATER SUPPLY, TRANSPORTATION, FARMING/AGRICULTURE AND HEALTH are more of a concern in the rural areas than the urban areas. In contrast, the MANAGEMENT OF THE ECONOMY, ELECTRICITY, RATES AND TAXES, CORRUPTION, AND ACCESS TO LOANS/CREDIT are of much worry to urban dwellers than their rural counterparts. Broadly speaking, therefore, about 40 percent of Ghanaians think the economy as a whole is the major problem confronting the country. This shows clearly that bread and butter issues are the immediate concern for respondents.” —- pg 5.
- RELATIONS BETWEEN ETHNIC GROUPS: There is a general perception that one’s ethnic background or gender affects his/her chances of getting government job, contract, public housing, loans from government banks or even admission into the education institutions and other security services. Generally, about 50% of respondents think that someone’s ethnic background influences one’s chances of getting government job.” —- pg 7.
- BRIBERY, CORRUPTION AND TRUST IN PUBLIC INSTITUTIONS: Respondents’ views on corruption of 10 state institutions namely: the Office of the President; Members of parliament; Government officials; Police; Tax officials; District chief executives; Judges and magistrates; Assemblymen and women; Immigration; and Army were solicited… The public seem to have LITTLE CONFIDENCE in some state institutions namely the Tax Department (37%), Electoral Commission (35.8%), The Ruling Party (35.6%), the Police (35.1%), the Metropolitan/Municipal/District Assemblies (33.9%), the Office of the President (33.8%) and Parliament (33.1%). —- pg8.
- VOTER PREFERENCES: “Generally, the factors that influence voting can be broadly categorized into four. These are the RATIONAL FACTORS, THE SOCIOLOGICAL FACTORS, THE DOMINANT IDEOLOGY FACTOR AND THE PARTY IDENTIFICATION FACTOR. The survey results show quite clearly that gradually, Ghanaians are being rational in their choices and decision as to who to vote for in elections. When respondents were quizzed about the relevance of political party programme of action and ideology as determinants of their preferences in an election, a whopping 79.1% stressed the importance of these variables in shaping their voting preference. 77% on qualification and competence of presidential candidates; 67.2% experience and past records; 60% personal qualities. 59.1% of respondents indicated that their voting is shaped by the party of the candidate and not necessarily the core issues the candidates stand for. sociological factors like gender (28%), ethnicity (25.5%), religion (24.8%) and region (21%) play less significant role in determining voting in Ghana compared to the other factors that influence voting.”——— pg11-12