Ask not what Trump can do for Africa, but certainly what Africa can do for Trump!
A recent survey by KASI Insight reveals urban dwellers in Africa are not overly concerned about “Africa falling off the map” after Donald Trump election.
In an attempt to gauge the true sentiments of Africans over the election of the 45th president of the United States of America, KASI Insight interviewed close to 3,000 urban dwellers across 6 countries. The rationale of the survey was to get people’s opinions first-hand and confront it with major opinions voiced by journalists or experts on behalf of the continent.
What started as a rhetorical question and answer experience revealed strong divergence in the way people view the newly elected president and its impact on Africa. When it comes to whether the incoming president will do a good job, close to half of the interviewees, especially in Nigeria and South Africa indicated they expected him to be a good president.
The survey unearthed a pronounced gap in opinions between French-speaking and English-speaking Africa, the former being more critical of the republican president-elect and globally more pessimistic.
While this proves for sure that there is no “single-global” way Africans feel about the outcome of the US election, it also draws attention to how dominant foreign mainstream media cast their fears or optimism to the ears of local listeners.
To illustrate this further, the survey showed that the views of Africans vary by country and by context, as the larger and more economically stable the country is; the lesser people are afraid of the “Africa falling off the map” hypothesis. In fact, most interviewees in those economically stronger African nations do not believe that America's aid is a prerequisite for the development of Africa. Does this mean that the average African doesn’t care about the future of the $4.1 billion market created by The African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA)? Only Africans can tell, but as it stands many do not consider AGOA to be the driving force of their domestic economies.
Far from mainstream politics, the average African seems less concerned with the long list of possible side effects of a Trump presidency that many analysts and journalists presented; matters pertaining to the conservative stance on same-sex unions, drastic cuts in foreign aids, reduced military interventions and even the antagonistic stance on climate change. “Looking into the results of the survey, it seems most respondents adopt a neutral attitude towards international politics as if they believe only local politicians and leaders have the power to improve their conditions,” said Yannick Lefang, Founder & CEO of research firm KASI Insight.
The difference between facts and stories is almost always down to the relevance of supporting data, and in this case, Africans seem to be in disagreement with journalists and experts who might have rushed to advance a global “African sentiment on the US election” just to support their arguments.
The wisdom of the crowd is hinting that Africans themselves hold the key to their future and prosperity. And who knows? Maybe the right question should be: What can Africa do for the US after Trump’s election?
About the survey
KASI Insight conducted an online survey of 2800 urban dwellers aged 18 and older from Cameroon, Nigeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya and South Africa. Responses were collected from November 15 to November 18, 2016. The full report can be downloaded here.
About KASI Insight
KASI Insight is Africa's most innovative research and advisory firm. We solve problems that present challenges for most firms doing business in Africa - lack of fresh local market data and the need for contextual insight and innovative research methods. For more information, visit www.kasiinsight.com