Mauritius ranks 1st out of 53 African countries in the newly released Ibrahim Index, an assessment of governance on the continent.
The 2010 Ibrahim Index shows a mixed picture for the state of governance across the continent. The index reveals recent gains in many countries in human and economic development but declines in political rights, personal safety and the rule of law.
“The top of the chart is pretty much what you’d expect to be at the top – countries such as Mauritius, [Seychelles], Botswana, are the top three countries, and at the bottom are Somalia, Chad, DRC, Zimbabwe and Eritrea,” said Dr Hania Farhan, director of research at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The Ibrahim Index is published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organisation committed to supporting good governance and great leadership in Africa. The Index assesses the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by governments and non‐state actors across 88 indicators.
Now in its fourth year, the Index is the brainchild of Mo Ibrahim – one of Africa’s most successful entrepreneurs.
The governance indicators measured by the Index are grouped into four overall categories (which are made up of constituent sub-categories):
• Safety and Rule of Law (Personal Safety, Rule of Law, Accountability and Corruption, National Security)
• Participation and Human Rights (Participation, Rights, Gender)
• Sustainable Economic Opportunity (Public Management, Private Sector, Infrastructure, Environment and the Rural Sector)
• Human Development (Health and Welfare, Education)
The countries cited as having seen notable improvements or declines in score over the past five years are:
Improvements in Overall Governance Quality scores: Angola, Liberia and Togo
Declines in Overall Governance Quality scores: Eritrea and Madagascar
Improvements in Sustainable Economic Opportunity: Angola, Burundi, Cape Verde, Egypt, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sierra Leone and Swaziland
Improvements in Human Development: Angola and Uganda
Declines in Safety and Rule of Law: Eritrea, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania, and Somalia
Declines in Participation and Human Rights: Eritrea, Madagascar and Senegal
“The 2010 Ibrahim Index gives us a mixed picture about recent progress on governance across the continent. While many African citizens are becoming healthier and have greater access to economic opportunities than five years ago, many of them are less physically secure and less politically enfranchised,” said Ibrahim.
Commenting on his personal concern for good governance in Africa, Ibrahim said: “If all the fortunate ones who have a good pension sit back and relax, who is going to do the work? This job has to be done. We are the lucky ones. We have the time and maybe the financial resources to do something for our people. So to lie on a beach sipping champagne and forgetting where you come from, or forgetting your people, is really not an acceptable option. There is no silver bullet. We don’t expect to publish an index and then the next morning Africa becomes like Switzerland or Sweden. It is a process and it is going to take time. It is for the benefit of the governments, civil society, political parties, MPs, etc to see where we are going.
“I mean if you fly an aeroplane or drive a car, you need to see some instruments to show you what speed you’re going, whether you’re coming up or going down, what is happening. This is a tool we are offering for African society at large to help manage our societies in a much better way for the benefit of everybody,” he added.