Health Care, Education Are Top Priorities in Sub-Saharan Africa

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

As the United Nations prepares to ratify new global development goals, a new Pew Research Center survey finds that people in major sub-Saharan African nations are feeling more optimistic about the future than many others around the world. Having experienced relatively high rates of economic growth in recent years, African publics are more likely than citizens of many wealthier nations to believe their economies will improve in the short run, and that in the long run the next generation will be better off financially.

Nonetheless, throughout sub-Saharan Africa people recognize that their countries face tremendous challenges. Even though extreme poverty around the world has been cut by more than half since the last round of UN development targets (the Millennium Development Goals) were adopted in 2000, economic challenges persist, especially a lack of jobs.1

And when asked what the top priorities should be for their country beyond strictly economic issues, people in the nine nations surveyed identify health care and education as top-tier concerns, both of which should figure prominently in the next set of development goals (the Sustainable Development Goals), which will be solidified at a UN summit at the end of September.

Asked which of six pressing issues should be the most important priority for their country, a median of 38% across the nations polled name health care, including more than four-in-ten in Burkina Faso, Senegal, Tanzania and Uganda. In eight of nine countries, improving health care is the number one priority.


Source: Pew Research Center (link opens in a new window)

Education, Health Care