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Citizens’ approval dips for government economic performance

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The latest Afrobarometer survey indicates more than half of Ghanaians are optimistic of a better economic outturn by next year.

The finding is in spite of a generally poor rating of government’s economic performance, according to the Afrobarometer study released by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development, (CDD-Ghana), which says approval ratings on indicators of government’s economic performance have declined sharply compared to 2017.

According to the study, few citizens are content with the country’s economic situation and their personal living conditions, and a majority say the country is headed in the wrong direction.

“Ghana has received positive reviews from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank and made important economic strides, including the successful completion of the IMF bailout program and a clean-up of the financial sector. But so far these successes appear not to have translated into concrete gains recognized by most citizens.”

The Afrobarometer team reportedly interviewed 2,400 adult Ghanaians between 16 September and 3 October 2019, with previous Ghana surveys conducted in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2012, 2014, and 2017. It conducts face-to-face interviews in the language of the respondent’s choice with nationally representative samples.

Key findings

  • Only three in 10 Ghanaians (30%) describe the country’s economic conditions as “fairly good” or “very good,” a modest decline from 35% recorded in 2017.
  • Fewer than four in 10 (37%) say their personal living conditions are “fairly good” or “very good.”
  • And only 31% say the country’s economic condition has improved over the past 12 months. But more than half (54%) are optimistic that things will be “better” or ”much better” in 12 months’ time.
  • Six in 10 Ghanaians (59%) say the country is “going in the wrong direction.” The share of citizens who see the country as “going in the right direction” declined by 15 percentage points from 2017, to 35%.
  • Majorities of citizens say government is performing “fairly badly” or “very badly” in narrowing income gaps (66%), improving the living standards of the poor (56%), and creating jobs (54%).
  • Approval ratings on indicators of the government’s economic performance have declined sharply compared to 2017, with approval on management of the economy recording the steepest drop, by 20 percentage points.

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