What the People of Africa Think about International Organisations
International organisations have long sought to promote peace and development in sub-Saharan Africa. Much research has focused on their policies and activities, but little is known about how people living in Africa view them. How aware are people in Africa of international organisations, and how helpful do they believe them to be? This article analyses public perceptions using data from Afrobarometer Round 4 surveys conducted in 20 countries. Awareness of international organisations is widespread, especially in countries that have experienced peacekeeping missions and among individuals who have completed primary school. Evaluations are favourable on balance, more so for the United Nations and other “global” organisations than for the African Union and its sub-regional bodies. Though most Africans see development aid as helpful, large and highly visible aid inflows are associated with concerns about the influence that donors and NGOs wield over recipient governments.