Category Archives: Afrobarometer

What do Tanzanians really think of the three governments idea?

From The Citizen 18/3/2014

From The Citizen 18/3/2014

Justice Warioba: “Of the almost 38,000 citizens who gave their views on the Union, 19,000 expressed an opinion on the form of the Union. The breakdown of these statistics show that on the mainland, 13% supported One Government, 24% supported Two Governments and 61% supported Three Governments. In Zanzibar, 34% supported Two Governments and 60% supported a contract-based Union, and 0.1% (25 people) supported One Government.”

President Kikwete: “There are those who claim the Commission’s statistics don’t show the truth. They say that the information of the Commission shows that 351,664 Tanzanian gave their views to the Commission. Of them, 47,820 citizens (13.6%) were unhappy with the form of the Union and raised the issue. 303,844 citizens (86.4%) didn’t see the form of the Union as a problem, which is why they didn’t raise the issue at all. So people are asking how today 13.6% of all Tanzanians who gave their views has become the majority of Tanzanians!”

They’re talking about the same data. How many people gave their views to the Constitutional Review Commission? How many people discussed the Union question? How many supported which form of the Union?

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Chart(s) of the week #2: Freedom to speak in Tanzania

Two charts this week, and a video, all on freedom of speech issues in Tanzania. First up, a chart adapted from last year’s Afrobarometer round 5 data release, specifically the report on free speech and good governance (pdf).

freedom to speak Continue reading

Public opinion on the union question: from Scotland to Zanzibar

Cartoon from Nipashe, April 2011

“Happy birthday to the Union, 47 years old” – Cartoon from Nipashe newspaper, April 2011

A referendum is coming up next year in Scotland, with a simple question proposed: “Should Scotland be an independent country?”

And in Tanzania, a referendum on constitutional reforms is also imminent. After a long public consultation process, a draft new constitution for Tanzania was published in June. It will be revised further, and then probably some more, but eventually Tanzanian citizens will decide whether or not to adopt the new constitution.

It’s a complicated debate with a lot of different issues at stake, but the biggest question has something in common with what’s going on in the UK and Scotland: what form should the relationship between Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania take?

But there’s one huge difference between the two situations: since the start of 2013, there have been at least 24 separate public opinion surveys asking voters in Scotland which way they intend to vote. Continue reading

Tanzanians confidence in the economy is the lowest in Africa – Afrobarometer on Tanzania #3

Tanzanians are very worried about the state of the economy, despite some impressive headline figures on growth.

When asked in the 2012 Afrobarometer survey how they view the state of the economy, Tanzanians were consistently much less positive than the rest of the continent:

  • Less Tanzanians (8%) were positive about the current state of the economy than in any other country.
  • Twice as many Tanzanians said that they thought the economy had got worse in the past twelve months (51%) as said it had got better (25%).
  • Less Tanzanians (22%) said that they expected the economy to improve in the coming twelve months than in any other country. Continue reading

A tight political race in 2015: Afrobarometer on Tanzania #2

Several times recently on this blog (e.g. here) I have referred to Tanzania’s increasingly competitive, and hot, political environment. But I have had to use anecdotes and newspaper articles as evidence that Chadema is challenging CCM as never before. Does the data back this up? Let’s take another look at the Afrobarometer survey series to find out.

Chart 1 – Political party preferences in Tanzania since 2001

The five Afrobarometer public opinion surveys in Tanzania since 2001 have all included a question on political party preferences. In 2001 and 2003, the survey asked respondents which party they felt most connected to. In 2005, 2008 and 2012, they were asked which party’s presidential candidate they would vote for if an election was held the following day. This is a standard opinion poll question that is used all around the world.

Data from Results for 2001, 2003 have been calculated based on responses to a different survey question, so are less reliable.

Data from Results for 2001, 2003 have been calculated based on responses to a different survey question, so are less reliable.

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“Lived poverty” on the increase in Tanzania – Afrobarometer on Tanzania #1

“It’s all rosy for Tanzania,” runs the Daily News headline. It’s not about media freedom, the state of public services, political stability or religious tolerance, but another vitally important component in the country’s development – economic growth. The article goes on to give some impressive growth figures, by anyone’s standards:

“The 2013 African Economic Outlook Report, launched last week, confirmed the impressive performance of the economy, which grew [by] 6.9% in 2012 and is estimated to reach 7% this year and 7.2% in 2014.”

But another recent report raised some very important questions about this economic growth. In particular, is economic growth benefiting the poor?

I’m talking about the Afrobarometer survey series, which published its latest data and reports last week. Their survey results and analysis are always worth looking at, as the data is among the best data on public opinion across the continent. The latest round covered 35 countries. It hit the headlines for its conclusion that the “Africa Rising” narrative needs more nuance – see here in the Guardian, for example. Continue reading

Public opinion in the water sector

A rapid analysis of water-related questions from Afrobarometer public opinion surveys 2001-2008

 Ben Taylor, WaterAid Tanzania, April 2009


Since 2001, the Afrobarometer ( series of public opinion surveys has been one of the most detailed and reliable sources of data on public opinion in Africa. While the majority of questions in the surveys have focussed on democracy and civic engagement, there are also some water-related questions. The results from these questions can provide a rare and valuable window on citizens’ perspectives in the sector – how does water supply rank among citizens’ priority issue for government to address, how do citizens’ rate government performance in the sector, how widespread is petty corruption in the sector, etc?

This short paper presents some of the key findings of the surveys conducted in Tanzania during 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2008, including comparing results from different years. It also includes some comparisons with other Africa countries.  Continue reading