The Chronicle Gambia

Majority of Gambians Say Country Heading in Wrong Direction, Afrobarometer Survey

A recent national survey released by Afrobarometer, a Pan-African research network, indicates that most Gambians believed the country is heading in the wrong direction, owing to several concerns they feel the government is not addressing.

Findings from the survey revealed that Gambians think the country is heading in the direction and want the government to prioritize the economy and ensure effective public service delivery. However, the survey also shows that lived poverty and personal living conditions have worsened since 2018, an outcome of the popular assessment of the government’s performance on economic management, infrastructure, and basic services.

The Afrobarometer team in The Gambia, led by the Center for Policy, Research, and Strategic Studies (CePrass), conducted a random national interview of over 1,000 adult Gambians from January to February 2021.

The findings in the survey outlined that “six in 10 Gambians (60%) interviewed say the country is heading in the “wrong direction,” double the proportion recorded in 2018, which was 29%.

Only a quarter (25%) of Gambians describes the country’s economy as “fairly good” or “very good,” less than half the approval rate in 2018, which stood at 58%

The proportion who describe their personal living conditions as “fairly good” or “very good” has also decreased drastically, from 66% in 2018 to 35%

The proportion of Gambians who went on without necessities such as enough food, water, and medical care during the previous year increased significantly compared to 2018.

Health (39%), management of the economy (38%), water supply (27%), and education (26%) are the most important problems that citizens want the government to address.

The share of respondents who cite management of the economy as a priority problem has more than double since 2018.

Citizens’ rating of the government’s performance on the economy, infrastructure, and basic services has declined sharply over the past three years.

Approval ratings of the performance of key government leaders have also declined since 2018″ the survey revealed

Job performance of leaders

Approval ratings for the performance of key government leaders have also declined since 2018. The survey further points out. “Only have of Gambians approve” or “strongly approve” of the performance of the president (49%), national assembly members (48%), and local government councilors (49%), reflecting declines of 15, 13, and percentage points, respectively. In addition, approval of the percentage of mayors/chairpersons declined by 4 points, to 53% while traditional leaders gained 3 points, reaching 69% approval.”

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