Centro de Pesquisas sobre Governação e Desenvolvimento | Centre for Research on Governance and Development

Public Approval of Legislators’ Job Performance in Africa

Working Papers
Carlos Shenga


The study of African legislatures or legislators is a neglected area. The Afrobarometer, an African-led series of national public attitude surveys on democracy and governance in Africa, have been interviewing thousands of Africans overtime asking more than two-hundred questions each time on the quality of democracy and governance, political institutions and public officials as well as writing and publishing on those issues. However, to date it appears that no one has written or published using the Afrobarometer data on the topic of citizens’ orientations toward their National Assembly representatives. This paper contributes to our knowledge by analysing public approval of legislators’ job performance in Africa at the micro and macro level and the factors that account for it using the 2008/9 Afrobarometer data from 20 African countries. Multi-level evidence shows that the approval of legislators’ job performance in Africa is primarily accounted for by presidential job performance.  This is followed by trust in parliament, the electoral system, political efficacy, contacting MPs, satisfaction with the economy, discussion of politics, affiliation in community group, identification with the winning party, the government system and knowledge about legislators.