Tag Archives: public opinion

Chart #40: What do Tanzanians think of media freedoms?

As usual, the latest release of Afrobarometer 2014 data and analysis on Tanzania has some very interesting findings. For advocates of media freedoms, it doesn’t make for very comfortable reading. And in a context where newspapers can (and have been) closed down, and where there are new restraints on space for public debate, this matters.

First, two charts that show a decline in support in Tanzania for having an independent and critical media since previous surveys in 2008 and 2012: Continue reading

Chart #37: Spiritual beliefs in sub-Saharan Africa – religion, superstition and attacks on people with albinism

These interactive charts draw on data I have used before – the 2010 Pew survey of religious beliefs in sub-Saharan Africa (see full report and data here – pdf). I post the data again here with more detail for you to explore – you can select what specific belief you wish to examine using the drop down menu.

It’s particularly interesting in the context of heightened attention on superstitious beliefs in Tanzania, following the recent spate of brutal attacks on people living with albinism. As I have posted before, attacks on people with albinism have been more common in Tanzania than elsewhere in Africa.

 

So what do the charts tell us?

I want to make one main point, which is this: in several areas of superstition / supernatural belief, Tanzania is way ahead of the rest of Africa.

According to this survey, 93% of Tanzanians believe in witchcraft, 80% that some people can cast spells, and 96% in evil spirits . In all three cases, Tanzania “leads” in these beliefs. In fact, compared to most of the surveyed countries, Tanzania “leads” by a long distance.

Second, several commentators have argued that if Tanzania was more god-fearing, attacks on people with albinism would not happen. But this data shows that Tanzanians’ beliefs in more respectable aspects of religious belief – such things as angels, heaven and hell – are very similar to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa. It seems unlikely that the problem is that Tanzanians are not sufficiently religious. Beliefs in Islam and Christianity exist alongside very widely held beliefs in witchcraft, evil spirits and curses.

Finally, exactly the same points can be made about violent attacks on people accused of practising witchcraft – usually elderly women. Nipashe newspaper reported yesterday on four recent mob murders of people in their 80s in Dodoma and Mara regions. They were accused of using witchcraft to bring drought to their villages.

Chart #36: Chinese influence in Tanzania

The increasing presence and influence of China in Africa is controversial to some. But not, it seems, to Tanzanians. New data from the latest round of Afrobarometer surveys has just been released, with some analysis (pdf) of how Tanzanians perceive Chinese influence.

I have four charts for you. First, how influential do Tanzanians think China actually is, compared to other countries / institutions?

Continue reading

Chart of the week #28: If elections were held today, who would you vote for?

The latest Sauti za Wananchi survey brief was launched earlier today, on politics. It covers a range of topics, and I highly recommend reading the whole brief. But Angela Ambroz has put together this excellent graphic on the big issue: which potential presidential candidates have the most support?

There’s a lot in there, but the headline conclusion is clear:

A year before Tanzania’s next elections, the race is wide open.

Here’s the same data, this time in the form of the chart used in the Sauti brief:

Source: Sauti za Wananchi surveys

Source: Sauti za Wananchi surveys

Nobody has very strong support, the biggest single group of voters are those who “don’t know”.

Is that a sign that voters are uninspired by the options before them? It is clearly not a vote of confidence for any of the frontrunners for the CCM nomination, Lowassa, Membe and Pinda. Any one of them could win through, but there is also plenty of room for an outsider to step up.

Chart of the week #27: Public ratings of key institutions

From the same data source as last week, Pew Global Attitudes Survey, some data on how key institutions are viewed by the public in seven African countries.

I’m not going to draw any conclusions from the data this time – I will leave that to you. There are two ways to do it, in the two interactive charts below. Continue reading

Chart of the week #23: Popular support for open government?

Do people in Tanzania, and elsewhere, support the idea of open government? It’s not a question that is asked very often, but a new dataset collected by the World Bank and others seeks to rectify this.

They asked people in 62 countries – including six in Africa – a short set of questions. Here’s some of the data for Africa – choose a question from the list on the right:

The data was collect through an internet survey, which means the data is dominated by responses from wealthier folks in urban areas. But with that caveat in mind, and focusing on Tanzania in particular, what can we see?

Well, a majority said they thought the government was already open (51%) or somewhat open (29%), but nevertheless, a solid three quarters of respondents expressed support for open government. This doesn’t vary much with the different questions asked:

  • 77% would like government to be more open
  • 76% would trust government more if it were more open
  • 75% would like more information about government
  • 78% said citizens should have a say in government spending and contracting
  • 75% said they thought government would be more effective if it was more open

Chart of the week #22: Trying to explain the low turnout

Last week, I drew attention to the extremely low turnout figures recorded at the Tanzanian 2010 presidential election. This week, I thought I would look at whether these turnout figures vary between different sections of society.

For this, I have turned again to the 2012 Afrobarometer survey, which asked respondents whether or not they voted in 2010, and if not, why not.

Overall, 81% said they voted. This is much higher than the actual turnout as reported by the National Electoral Commission, which was 43%. And the Afrobarometer methodology explains that the survey included respondents from the age of 15 upwards. Given that only those aged 20 and above in 2012 would have been eligible to vote in 2010, that means a considerable portion of the Afrobarometer sample were not eligible in 2010. Continue reading