Post-Madiba Africa remains optimistic: CNN

A CNN survey of nearly 10,000 Africans found many believe the continent is living up to Madiba’s hopes.

Nelson Mandela waves to the press as he arrives at the Elysee Palace in Paris, 7 June 1990. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Two thirds of Africans are more optimistic now than when Nelson Mandela took office in 1994, a wide-ranging survey conducted by American news broadcaster CNN revealed on Friday.

The study also found that corruption is the greatest concern on the continent.

CNN contacted almost 10,000 cellphone users in Africa across 20 countries, trying to establish whether the mood has changed in the nearly 20 years since Mandela became the first black president of a free South Africa.

The broadcaster says the results of the survey suggest a "continent looking to the future with hope."

It says Africans are "relatively satisfied with the stewardship of its leaders."

Below: The top graphic depicts the results for the whole of Africa and the bottom one is specific to South Africa. Pictures: CNN International.

One in five respondents say they were as optimistic now as they were 20 years ago, while only 15 percent said they were less optimistic.

Though corruption is the hottest issue for most Africans, many gave their leaders positive reviews.

Most respondents say leaders are living up to Mandela's vision "well," and another 50 percent say their leaders are "doing their best."

Only a quarter of respondents say their leaders are doing badly.

Respondents also said the gap between rich and poor, poverty, and HIV/AIDS were among their most serious concerns, with war coming last.

While a clear majority of respondents voiced optimism in their own future and those of their family, there was a split down the middle about how South Africa would do after Mandela.

Just under half said the country would succeed without him, while an equal number said it would "struggle."

Only three percent predicted it would fail.

Predictions for the country's future were similar inside South Africa itself.

Just over half of respondents were from South Africa.

Peter Bale, Vice President and General Manager Digital of CNN International, says the survey has provided some fascinating insights.

More than three quarters of respondents were between the ages of 15 and 25.

Around 13 percent were aged 26 to 30 and 10 percent were older than 30.

The survey did not reach certain countries in Africa currently ravaged by conflict, such as the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.