22 February 2012 – Nearly two-thirds of those surveyed in a new 22-nation poll for BBC World Service think that the recent increase in overseas investment in Africa will prove to be a good thing for the continent, with African citizens among the most upbeat.
The findings of the poll, conducted by GlobeScan among 21,558 people, show that most respondents are relaxed about foreign companies purchasing long-term rights to African natural resources and land, with a majority rating such investments as either “very good” (19%) or “somewhat good” (44%) for Africa. Africans are among the most positive about this development, with Nigerians the most likely to rate it as a good thing for Africa (85%), a view shared by three in four Kenyans (75%) and Ghanaians (72%).
China, the source of much of the current foreign investment in Africa, is also positive about it, with nearly two-thirds of Chinese rating it as a good thing (64%) and only 18 per cent rating it as a bad thing. A much smaller proportion of Indians rates the wave of foreign investment in Africa as a good thing, however (47%).
Germany is the most doubtful, with over half of Germans (56%) reporting that the increase in overseas investment in Africa is a bad thing for the continent. Nearly half of French respondents (44%) feel the same.
The poll also asked respondents to indicate how optimistic they were that Africa would experience “major economic growth” over the next twenty years. It reveals that large majorities in the four African nations polled are either “very” or “somewhat” optimistic that this growth will take place. Eighty-five per cent feel this way in Egypt, 80 per cent in Nigeria, 75 per cent in Kenya, and 74 per cent in Ghana—higher proportions than in all other countries polled.
Globally, almost six in ten citizens (58%) are optimistic about Africa’s economic prospects, compared to 33 percent who are pessimistic. Citizens of developing nations in Asia and Latin America are among the most optimistic about Africa’s prospects, but optimists also outnumber pessimists in India (55% vs 26%), the USA (55% vs 42%), and China (50% vs 36%).
However, the poll also reveals that some of the industrialised nations that have been major aid donors to Africa over the years are among the most pessimistic that Africa’s economy will see a sustained improvement. Germans are again the most downbeat, with seven in ten (70%) pessimistic, compared to just 29 per cent who are optimistic. Pessimists also outnumber optimists in the UK (58% vs 38%) and France (56% vs 41%).
GlobeScan Chairman Doug Miller comments: “There is little evidence that the sovereignty concerns some policy experts have expressed over long-term Chinese investment in Africa have registered with average citizens. Most people around the world think recent foreign investment is good for Africa, and expect significant economic growth there over the next decade or two. Africans themselves are the most positive.”
A total of 21,558 citizens across 22 countries were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone between July 3, 2011 and September 16, 2011. Polling was conducted for BBC World Service by the international polling firm GlobeScan and its research partners in each country. In eight of the 22 countries, the sample was limited to major urban areas. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 2.0 to 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
In Brazil, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Panama, the Philippines, and Turkey urban samples were used.
For media interviews with the participating pollsters, please contact:
|Sam Mountford, Research Director
GlobeScan Incorporated, London
+44 20 7928 5368
(Mobile: +44 7854 132625)
|Oliver Martin, Director, Global Development
GlobeScan Incorporated, Toronto
+1 416 969 3073
(Mobile: +1 416 721 3544)
GlobeScan Incorporated is an international opinion research consultancy. We provide global organisations with evidence-based insight to help them set strategy and shape their communications. Companies, multilateral institutions, governments, and NGOs trust GlobeScan for our unique expertise across reputation management, sustainability, and stakeholder relations. GlobeScan conducts research in over 90 countries, is ISO 9001-2008 quality certified and a signatory to the UN Global Compact.
Established in 1987, GlobeScan is an independent, management-owned company with offices in Toronto, London, and San Francisco. For more information, visit: www.globescan.com
About BBC World Service
The BBC World Service is an international multimedia broadcaster, delivering a wide range of language and regional services on radio, TV, online and via wireless handheld devices. It uses multiple platforms to reach its weekly audience of 166 million globally, including shortwave, AM, FM, digital satellite and cable channels. Its news sites include audio and video content and offer opportunities to join the global debate. BBC World Service offers its multilingual radio content to partner FM stations around the world and has numerous partnerships supplying content to news websites, mobile phones and other wireless handheld devices as well as TV channels. For more information, visit: www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice
Backgrounder: Region-by-Region Results
In the US, respondents are mostly positive about the recent influx of foreign investment into Africa, with 61 per cent saying this investment is a good thing for Africa—in line with the global average of 63 per cent. On this question, American respondents are significantly more upbeat than respondents in any other big donor nation surveyed except the UK.
Respondents also appear quite optimistic about Africa’s economic prospects. Fifty-five per cent of Americans are optimistic that the African continent will experience major economic growth in the next 10 to 20 years—a figure in line with the 22-country global average (58%). It is noteworthy that as the top contributor to aid development, the US is significantly more optimistic than the surveyed major donor countries in the EU. Nonetheless, more than two in five Americans (42%) are pessimistic—well above the global average of 33 per cent.
Attitudes in Brazil, the region’s economic giant, are sharply divergent. Brazilians are largely positive about the increased investments made in African economies by foreign companies. Two-thirds of Brazilians (66%) consider them a positive thing, while only 23 per cent say they are a bad thing—proportions in line with the global averages (63% and 24%). But Brazil also emerges as the least optimistic country in the region, with respondents divided on the issue of Africa’s projected economic growth: 46 per cent of Brazilians are pessimists on this subject, compared to 47 per cent who are optimists.
Respondents in the other Latin American countries polled are also positive about the recent growth in foreign investment in Africa. Panamanians are the most upbeat, with an overwhelming majority seeing foreign investment as a good thing for African economies (77%). In Ecuador, Mexico, and Peru, majorities above or in line with the global average (63%) are also optimistic. In Chile, positive perceptions of foreign investment in Africa are not as strong, with only 51 per cent of Chileans stating that such investment is a good thing for the continent. A significant proportion of respondents offers no clear opinion (34%, the highest proportion in the survey).
Those who are optimistic about Africa’s economic prospects in the upcoming 20 years far outnumber those who are pessimistic (59% vs 27% at the regional level). However, there are differences at the country level. Panamanians are the most optimistic, with almost three-quarters (74%) who think that Africa will experience major economic growth over the next two decades. Strong majorities also share this opinion in Ecuador, Peru, and Mexico (65%, 63%, and 61% respectively). Respondents in Chile are not so upbeat, with only a plurality of 45 per cent that is optimistic, while almost one in three (29%) does not have an opinion on the issue—the highest percentage in the survey.
In the EU countries, the proportion that speaks positively about increasing investment by foreign companies in Africa is bigger than the proportion who are optimistic about Africa’s future economic prospects. However, EU respondents, except in Britain, remain comparatively much less upbeat than respondents in most other countries surveyed. Over six in ten Britons (62%) consider increasing foreign investment as a good thing for Africa—a figure in line with the global average (63%). A slim majority of French respondents (51%) also feels positive, and 49 per cent feel this way in Spain. However, these two countries have the second and third highest percentages of people that think that increased overseas investment in the African economy is a bad thing (44% and 40%, respectively). Germany is again the most doubtful among the countries surveyed, with 56 per cent of Germans reporting that such development is a bad thing for the continent—the only country with a majority of people with negative perceptions (against a global average of 24%).
Most European countries are pessimistic about Africa’s economic prospects for the 20 years ahead—Europe is the only region where pessimists outnumber optimists overall. At a regional level, four in ten Europeans (40%) say they are optimistic that Africa will experience a major phase of economic growth in the next two decades, as opposed to 51 per cent with pessimistic views.
Majorities of respondents in the four EU countries surveyed—all among the top ten contributors to foreign aid—are pessimistic about the future growth of African economies. Germans are the most downbeat, with seven in ten (70%) pessimistic, compared to just 29 per cent who are optimistic. Pessimists also outnumber optimists in the UK (58% vs 38%), France (56% vs 41%), and Spain (50% vs 42%). Among the countries surveyed, only these four have majorities of pessimists. Optimism is not widespread in Russia either, where a plurality of 42 per cent has pessimistic views about Africa’s economic prospects, although a high proportion (23%) has no definite opinion on the topic.
At the periphery of Europe, Turkey is the only surveyed country in Europe where a majority of respondents is optimistic that Africa will experience major economic growth in the next 10 to 20 years: 57 per cent are optimistic compared to 31 per cent pessimistic—figures very similar to the global averages (58% vs 33%). An even stronger majority of Turks considers increased foreign investment in Africa to be a good thing for the African continent: 72 per cent have positive views, which is above the 63 per cent global average.
Africans are among the most positive about the recent developments that have seen foreign companies purchase long-term rights to African natural resources and land. Nigerians are the most likely to rate these foreign investments as good for Africa (85%, highest percentage in the survey). Perceptions in Kenya (75%), Ghana (72%), and Egypt (71%) are also very positive, with proportions largely above the 63 per cent global average. These scores are equaled, or exceeded, only in the Philippines, Panama, and Turkey.
Africans are also very upbeat with regard to the future of their continent’s economy. In the four countries surveyed, very large majorities are optimistic that Africa will experience “major economic growth” over the next 10 to 20 years. Eighty-five per cent feel this way in Egypt, 80 per cent in Nigeria, 75 per cent in Kenya, and 74 per cent in Ghana. These proportions are higher than in any of the other countries polled except Panama (74%), and demonstrate Africans’ hope that strong and sustained economic growth will eventually alleviate poverty on the continent. Aggregated at the regional level, results show that only 18 per cent of Africans are pessimistic—a proportion much lower than the global average (33%).
Among the Asian countries surveyed, Filipinos are by far the most favourable towards increased overseas investment in Africa. Almost eight in ten (78%) think such investment represents a positive development for Africa—the second highest proportion in the survey after Nigeria. Sixty-three per cent of Indonesians and 54 per cent of Pakistanis share the same opinion. In India, a smaller proportion of Indians considers the growing wave of foreign investment in Africa to be a good thing. With only a plurality of 47 per cent of respondents reporting positive opinions, this is the third lowest percentage in the survey, sixteen points below the global average (63%).
When it comes to assessing Africa’s economic prospects for the 20 years ahead, optimists outnumber pessimists in Asia. At the regional level, 58 per cent say they are optimistic, compared to 27 per cent who are pessimistic—proportions very similar to those seen in Latin America. However, there are some disparities at the country level. Indonesians and Filipinos are the most optimistic that Africa will experience strong and sustained economic growth in the next two decades (68% and 66%, respectively). Respondents in India and Pakistan also share this opinion, but with slimmer majorities (55% and 53%), and the proportions of Indians and Pakistanis who are unable to give an answer are quite high (19% and 23%, respectively).
In China, optimism is more tempered, with just one in two respondents (50%) saying that the African continent is set to experience major economic growth in the next 10 to 20 years, and 36 per cent who have the opposite opinion. In contrast, when it comes to thinking about the impact of the increased foreign investment on Africa, nearly two-thirds of Chinese consider it a good thing for the continent (64%), and only 18 per cent see it as a bad thing.
In total 21,558 citizens in Brazil, Chile, China, Ecuador, Egypt, France, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States were interviewed face-to-face or by telephone between July 3 and September 16, 2011. Polling was conducted for BBC World Service by GlobeScan and its research partners in each country.
In Brazil, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Indonesia, Panama, the Philippines, and Turkey urban samples were used. The margin of error per country ranges from +/- 2.0 to 4.4 per cent, 19 times out of 20.
|Country||Sample Size (unweighted)||Field dates||Sample frame||Survey methodology||Type of sample|
|Brazil||806||July 26 – August 15, 2011||18–69||Telephone||Urban1|
|Chile||1200||August 18–29, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|China||1000||July 13–31, 2011||18+||Telephone||Urban2|
|Ecuador||497||August 27 – September 16, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||Urban3|
|Egypt||1005||July 16–29, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||Urban4|
|France||503||August 16–18, 2011||15+||Telephone||National|
|Germany||1013||July 8–27, 2011||16–70||Telephone||National|
|Ghana||1037||July 25 – August 20, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|India||1254||July 15–29, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|Indonesia||1000||July 3 – August 25, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||Urban5|
|Kenya||816||August 5 – September 1, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|Mexico||1000||July 23–28, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|Nigeria||755||August 2–9, 2011||18–65||Face-to-face||National|
|Pakistan||2400||July 18 – August 8, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|Panama||750||August 9–22, 2011||18+||Telephone||Urban6|
|Peru||1215||July 15–20, 2011||18–70||Face-to-face||National|
|Philippines||800||July 23 – August 8, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||Urban7|
|Russia||1006||July 22 – August 10, 2011||18+||Face-to-face||National|
|Spain||501||September 1–10, 2011||18+||Telephone||National|
|Turkey||1000||July 5–18, 2011||15+||Face-to-face||Urban8|
|United Kingdom||1000||July 6 – August 23, 2011||18+||Telephone||National|
|USA||1000||July 8 – August 18, 2011||18+||Telephone||National|
In Brazil the survey was conducted in Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Curitiba, Goiânia, Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, and São Paulo, representing 18 per cent of the national population.
In China the survey was conducted in Beijing, Beiliu, Chengdu, Dujiangyan, Fenyang, Fuyang, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Manzhouli, Quanzhou, Qujing, Shanghai, Shenyang, Shuangcheng, Wuhan, Xi’an, Xining, and Zhengzhou, representing 45 per cent of the national adult population.
In Ecuador the survey was conducted in Cuenca, Guayaquil and Quito, representing 52 per cent of the urban population.
In Egypt the survey was conducted in Alexandria, Cairo, Giza, and Shubra El-Kheima, representing 24 per cent of the national population.
In Indonesia the survey was conducted in Bandung, Jakarta, Makassar, Medan, and Surabaya, representing 27 per cent of the national adult population.
In Panama the survey was conducted in Panamá, Chiriquí, Colón, Coclé, Veraguas, Herrera, Bocas del Toro and Los Santos, representing 70 per cent of the adult population.
In the Philippines the survey was conducted in the National Capital Region, representing 27 per cent of the urban adult population.
In Turkey the survey was conducted in Adana, Ankara, Antalya, Bursa, Diyarbakir, Erzurum, Istanbul, Izmir, Konya, Samsun, and Zonguldak, representing 56 per cent of the national adult population.
|Brazil||Market Analysis||Florianópolis||Fabián Echegarayfabian@marketanalysis.com.br
+55 48 3364 0000
|Chile||Mori Chile||Santiago||Marta Lagos
+56 2334 4544
+1 416 969 3073
|Ecuador||Propraxis / Sigma Dos||Quito||Carlos Moreno
+593 7 2888519
|Egypt||Attitude Market Research||Cairo||Mohamed Al Gendy
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|France||Efficience 3||Paris and Rheims||Christian de Thieulloy
+33 1 4316 5442
|Germany||Ri*QUESTA GmbH||Teningen||Bernhard Rieder
+49 7641 93 43 36
|Ghana||Business Interactive Consulting Limited||Accra||Razaaque Animashaun
+233 302 783140 / +233 302 782892
|India||Team C Voter||Noida||Yashwant Deshmukh
+91 120 4175200 (ext. 223)
|Indonesia||DEKA Marketing Research||Jakarta||Irma Malibari
+62 21 723 6901
|Kenya||Research Path Associates Ltd.||Nairobi||Jeremy Mwololo
+254 020 2734770
|Mexico||Parametria||Mexico City||Francisco Abundis
+52 55 2614 0089
|Nigeria||Millward Brown||Lagos||Michael Umogun
+234 802 311 7969
|Pakistan||Gallup Pakistan||Islamabad||Ijaz Shafi Gilani
+92 51 2655630
|Panama||Dichter & Neira||Panama City||Gabriel Neira
+ 507 236 4000
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+511 215 0600
|Philippines||M&S-Sigma Dos Philippines, Inc.||Makati City||Teodora Marasigan
+63 2 8172780
|Russia||CESSI Institute for Comparative Social Research||Moscow||Vladimir Andreenkov
+7 495 650 55 18
|Spain||Sigma Dos Int.||Madrid||Gines Garrido
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+34 91 360 0474
|Turkey||Yöntem Research Consultancy Ltd.||Istanbul||Bülent Gündoğmuş
+90 212 278 1219
|United Kingdom||Populus Data Solutions||London||Patrick Diamond
+44 207 553 4148
|USA||Populus Data Solutions||London||Patrick Diamond
+44 207 553 4148
M4.How optimistic, if at all, are you that Africa will experience major economic growth over the next ten to twenty years?
READ OUT. CODE ONE ONLY
- 01 Very optimistic
- 02 Somewhat optimistic
- 03 Not very optimistic
- 04 Not at all optimistic
- VOLUNTEERED / DO NOT READ OUT
- 99 Don’t know / not applicable
M5.There has been a significant increase in overseas investment in Africa over recent years, with foreign companies purchasing long- term rights to natural resources and land. Some say this brings much needed investment to Africa, while others have concerns about loss of local control over valuable resources.
To what extent do you think that this foreign investment is a good or a bad thing for Africa?
READ OUT. CODE ONE ONLY
- 01 Very good
- 02 Somewhat good
- 03 Somewhat bad
- 04 Very bad
- VOLUNTEERED / DO NOT READ OUT
- 99 Don’t Know / Not applicable