Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Pew Survey in NYT Interactive Graph

Tanzanians are more likely to think that their children will be worse off in the future than think they will be better off. They are twice as likely to hold this view compared with people in West African countries like Ghana, Nigeria and Ivory Coast.

This is one of the sobering findings from a large scale survey carried out in ten sub-Saharan countries earlier this year by the New York Times and Pew Global Attitudes Project.
There’s a fantastic interactive graph on the New York Times website. To access it, you may need to register on the NYT site, but its worth it. The NYT also has an article about the poll.

Click the questions and watch the graphs on each country change. It’s worth spending some time looking and comparing the views of the different countries. This is one of the ways that we can step out of our familiar world and try to see the world through the eyes of others.

Through Tanzanian eyes, the world looks corrupt (two-thirds say corrupt political leaders are a big problem), hungry (half had times in the past year when they didn’t have money to buy necessary food) and uneducated (three-quarters say poor schools are a problem).

On the other hand, more than 90% say that President Kikwete is a good influence. This is outstandingly better than any of the other countries in the survey. This is great news because Kikwete was democratically elected and the survey is thorough and independent. So, the findings are not the propaganda of a dictator, instead it is clear that Tanzanians have great confidence in their President.

Here’s hoping that Tanzania can maintain its strong economic growth under good leadership, so its children are, in fact, better off than their parents and grandparents.

If you’re not on a learning curve, you’re going nowhere.

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