Living Conditions Bad – Survey Respondents Say

Majority of Ghanaians have described the country’s economic conditions as very bad. Results from the Afrobarometer Round 5 Survey on the economic and social conditions of Ghanaians, released yesterday in Accra, said 63 percent of respondents selected from across the country decried living standards in the country while 30 percent said the situation was good. Afrobarometer is a comparative series of public opinion surveys that measures public attitudes towards democracy, the economy, governance, leadership, identity and other related issues. Field work for Round 5 was conducted in Ghana in May and June this year. 2400 adult Ghanaians were interviewed in the survey. Daniel Armah-Attoh, Senior Research Officer at Afro-Barometer, presenting the report, emphasized: “Ghanaians perceive unemployment, education and health as the three most important problems facing the country that government should address. Unemployment and education have been consistently mentioned among the most pressing problems facing the country since 2005.” He noted that in 2008, water supply was among the top three problems facing the nation while in 2005 it was health. “Between 2008 and 2012, we observe an 18 percent increase in negative perception about the country’s economy. There was a 15 percent decline in positive perception over the same period. About 58 percent of Ghanaians also assess their personal living conditions as very bad or bad. However, a little over a third (36 percent) assessed their living conditions as very good or good.” Mr Armah-Attoh noted that the trend from 2002 to 2012 shows a dip in the number of Ghanaians who described their living conditions as very bad and an upturn in the numbers rating their living conditions as very good or good. However, from 2008 to 2012, there has been a six percent decline in the number describing their conditions as very good or good and a 10 percent increase in those saying conditions are very bad or bad. Nonetheless, the senior researcher mentioned: “Ghanaians are very optimistic about the future. Prospective evaluations indicate that a majority (73 percent) expect the country’s economic condition to improve next year while 78 percent expect their own living conditions to improve by the same time.” The survey further noted that about 50 percent of respondents have gone without cash income sometime over the past year. Similarly, 21 percent to 30 percent of Ghanaians have gone without fuel, food, medical care and water sometime over the past year, it noted. Additionally, many Ghanaians, who lacked access to food, water, medical care, fuel and cash income sometime in the past year, have been in the significant decline. In spite of the foregoing opinions expressed, 76 percent of the respondents expressed confidence about the prospect of government to solving their foremost problems within the next five years. “This means more responsibility on government to provide the means to economically empower the people and also its expansion of existing structures to meet such an expectation,” Dr Lloyd Amoah, a social policy analyst told CITY & BUSINESS GUIDE. Afrobarometer is managed by the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) in collaboration with Institute for Democracy in Africa (IDASA), South Africa, Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Nairobi, Kenya, Institute for Empirical Research in Political Economy (IREP), Benin.