Monday, October 16, 2017. Earlier this week, ASE had the honor of hosting Mrs. Carolyn Logan, deputy director of Afrobarometer, for a guest lecture on trust and political parties. Afrobarometer is a Pan-African, non-partisan research network that conducts public attitude surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions, and related issues across over 30 African countries.
Since 2005, ASE’s flagship institute, IREEP, has been Afrobarometer’s core partner for studies conducted in Francophone Africa. Mrs Logan visited ASE with Afrobarometer’s executive director, Professor Emmanuel Gyimah-Boadi, with the goal of improving the Afrobarometer process and interests for survey rounds 7 and 8 through collaboration with the ASE-IREEP team.
Prior to her departure, Mrs. Logan held a presentation for students on the ASE Campus. She first spoke about Afrobarometer, the organization’s history, methodologies, and results. Subsequently, she presented her working paper on citizens’ attitudes toward opposition parties in Africa. Her main finding was that while the trust gap for opposition parties has decreased in past years, gaps remain large in countries with volatile political situations and conflict. After the presentation, ASE students asked a variety of questions, ranging from the purpose of the opposition party, to the role of freedom of speech in determining trust, to whether the sample size was representative of the population. One student inquired about challenges Afrobarometer had faced, and how they overcame them. The discussion concluded with a question about the role of gender in politics, and whether the gender of the party leader affects public perception and trust.