Monday, 25 May 2009

Free market research on opinions in African countries

I am looking at why certain countries accept technologies more readily than others. There is research saying that education is important for some sorts of technology and other research finding that distance from the source of the technology is also important. One candidate factor influencing acceptance is the general attitudes of people in a country. If people in a country do not like risk much, then they might be more reluctant to accept new technologies. If people do not value healthcare much, then trying to sell a home medical kit might be more successful in a more health-conscious country.

The World Values Survey is helpful for assessing attitudes. The survey is available here, based mainly on interviews with statistically selected respondents from what I can see. There is information on South Africa, Ghana, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Mali, Rwanda, and Zambia from the most recent survey and on Tanzania from the previous survey, so it is helpful for assessing different opinions particularly in the Saharan West African and Southern Great Lakes regions. As a few examples, 44.6 percent of Malians say they strongly agree that they would give up part of their income for the environment while only 12.7 percent of Zambians strongly agree. 36.1 percent of Ghanaians say they completely agree that science and technology are making lives healthier, easier, and more comfortable compared with 16.8 percent of Rwandans. 38.2 percent of Ethiopians say they read a book in the week before the survey, compared with 21.0 percent of South Africans.

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