The latest Afrobarometer (AB) survey findings show that Ghanaians want government to focus on managing the economy.
This is a shift in policy priorities from 2005, 2008 and 2012 Afrobarometer surveys, in which unemployment is the leading policy priority of most Ghanaians.
The 2014 AB Report by the Ghana Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD-Ghana) which was launched on Wednesday in Accra, indicated that government performed poorly on the economic management score card of most citizens.
Mr Daniel Armah-Attoh, CDD-Ghana Senior Researcher and AB Project Coordinator, said the findings of the survey would help policy makers in the formulation of policies for national development.
He said the AB Project Team interviewed 2,400 adult Ghanaians from May 24 to June 10 2014 from 177 districts, out of 216 districts.
He observed that the survey sample yielded results with a margin of error of plus or minus two, at the 95 per cent confidence level, adding that previous surveys had been conducted in Ghana in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2012.
According to the Report, the negative evaluations of government economic performance also found expression in a finding that majority of Ghanaians believe the country was moving in the “wrong direction”.
The findings are significant in the light of recent public discussions on the economy’s unstable trajectory, with months of exchange-rate depreciation and rising inflation.
Among the key findings were large majorities of Ghanaians gave ratings of “fairly bad” or “very bad” to government’s keys indicators such as the economy 72 per cent, improving living standards of the poor 76 per cent, keeping prices down 81 per cent, and narrowing gaps between rich and poor 76 per cent.
It said Ghanaians consider economic management 18 per cent as the most important problem that they want government to address; this was followed by education and electricity 12 per cent each and health 10 per cent.
It indicated that two-thirds or 66 per cent of Ghanaians said government was managing their top most priority; that is the first most important problem “fairly bad” or “very badly”.
According to the Report, an overwhelming majority of Ghanaians, constituting 82 per cent, said the country was moving in the “wrong direction”, compared to 57 per cent who thought so in 2012
AB is an African-led, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude, surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across more than 30 countries in Africa.
Five rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2013 and round six surveys are currently underway for the years 2014 and 2015.
AB conducts face to face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice, with nationally representative samples of between 1,200 and 2,400 respondents.