Africa struggles to improve governance in past decade — Mo Ibrahim survey

Governance across Africa has improved very little over the past decade as deteriorating safety and rule of law have held back progress made in other areas such as human rights or economic opportunities, a survey said on Monday.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent, rates 54 African nations against criteria such as security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education.

Mauritius held onto its top spot, followed by Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles and Namibia while South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised country, was in sixth place.

While overall the index has improved by just one point over the 10 year period starting in 2006, three out of the top 10 countries have seen their score fall in this period, and major economies like South Africa and Ghana registered some of the largest deteriorations on the continent.

The survey found that almost half of Africa’s 54 countries recorded their worst score in the past three years in the Safety & Rule of Law category, which measures personal safety, national security as well as accountability and the judicial system.

“Today, current opinion focuses on the potential aftershock of deflating commodity prices and third term challengers to democracy…. What is striking is that these are not the areas which demand the most attention,” Sudanese telecoms businessman Mo Ibrahim wrote in the annual report which is compiled by his foundation and aimed at promoting better governance and economic development in Africa.