The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), in its first report in the Afrobarometer PanAfrica Profiles Series on Round 7 results, provided an initial broad-brush assessment of how governments were performing in key sectors of the economy as defined by the UN SDGs.

Based on the recent public-opinion surveys which was conducted in 34 countries, it was indicated that Ghana scored 68%, as the highest mark with respect to being able to meet most of the priorities the citizens wanted as far as the SDGs were concerned.

The survey said, respondents underpinned education (80%) and reliability of electricity supply (71%) among others as areas that the Ghana government was performing well on.

The analysis, according to the Centre was designed to help governments and advocates design more effective interventions through a better understanding of how their intended beneficiaries – ordinary citizens – perceive and prioritize these goals.

According to the Centre, the new report linked the most important problems which were identified by more than 45,800 Africans, and as well as their assessments of their governments’ performances on these issues to the goals of the UN SDGs 2030.

The event was organized by the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in Accra, at the Holiday Inn Hotel on Monday, 19th November 2018.

Dr. Edem Selormey, the Afrobarometer Fieldwork Operations Manager for West, North and East Africa, in a presentation of the new Afrobarometer report on a survey findings tracking citizens’ priorities, SDGs, and government performance in Africa, noted that “decent work and economic growth” happens to be Africans’ highest priority among the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, it is also remains an area where governments are performing poorly.

Dr. Selormey, also outlined hunger, health, and peace, justice and strong institutions as other highly prioritised SDGs.

Key among the findings she also mentioned were
unemployment, topping the most important problems that Africans wanted their governments to address, and then health, followed by infrastructure and roads, water and sanitation, education, management of the economy, and the ‘almighty’ poverty.

According to mapping the “most important problems” identified by Afrobarometer respondents onto the SDGs, She indicated that, “decent work and economic growth,”
which is the SDG8, emerged as the highest-priority with 57%.

Dr. Selormey further explained that, there were seven other SDGs which captured the attention of respondents ranging between 20 to 31%, as well as SDG2 – “zero hunger” – 31%,
SDG3 – “good health and well-being” – 27%,
SDG16 – “peace, justice and strong institutions” – 26%, SDG9 – “industry, innovation and infrastructure” – 24%, SDG6 – “clean water and sanitation” – 24%,
SDG1 – “no poverty” – 22%,
SDG4 – “quality education” – 21%.

Sbe said the the rest of the SDGs drew only modest levels of attention from respondents as “most important” priorities.

Other Afrobarometer data, She said, also revealed that African publics typically valued goals like, gender equality, climate change. Saying, “Even if they are not the first things on their minds in the struggle for daily survival.”

She said “People place a higher priority on fighting hunger and having adequate supplies of clean water and energy.”

Deputy Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Dr. Franklin Oduro, intimated that, since when over 190 world leaders committed to the 17 SDGs to help end extreme poverty, fight inequality and justice, and fix climate change from 2016 to 2030, one of the obvious challenges that kept pupping up was where to start and how to translate the agenda into a plan of action.

He intimated that, Afrobarometer believed one critical area to start from was by asking the people. Thus, as a pan-Africa research network, they were very committed to giving a voice to ordinary Africans in policy making.

According to him, the purpose of the gathering was to access the outcome by asking the people. At the end of the event, the assertions gave a clear indication that indeed, it was one of the critical areas to have start from.

Present at the event was the Executive Director of CDD-Ghana, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, and key among discussants were, Professor Dzodzi Tsikata, (Research Professor, Development Sociology), Radhika Lal, (Economic Advisor, UNDP), Dr. Louise Carole Donkor, (Policy and Communications Analyst, SDGs Advisory Unit, Office of President), George Osei-Bimpeh, (Co-chair, CSOs Platform for SDGs) and many others.

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