The 2010 Ibrahim Index released yesterday, Monday, shows impressive gains in many African countries in human and economic development but declines in political rights, personal safety and the rule of law.
The Ibrahim Index, launched in four cities across the continent, is published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organization 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.
For Africa, the index showed groups indicators in four groups. In two of them, sustainable economic opportunity and human development, the picture was mostly positive - and in fact no country declined significantly in these categories. '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 Mo Ibrahim, founder and chair of the foundation.
"However, this average masks large variation in performance across countries. Angola, Liberia, and Togo all show significant improvements in governance performance scores. In both sustainable economic opportunity and human development there have been improvements in many African countries in good governance. Importantly, no country has declined significantly in these categories" said the report issued in Nairobi yesterday.
The Ibrahim Index is Africa's leading assessment of governance, established to inform and empower the continent's citizens and to support governments, parliaments and civil society to assess progress. The 2010 Ibrahim Index shows both areas of progress and setbacks in governance between 2004/05 and 2008/09. Overall governance quality remains largely unchanged from previous years, with a continental average score of 49 and Mauritius is at the top of the list while Somalia is at the bottom.
Mauritius (82), the Seychelles (75) and Botswana (74) top the overall rankings, while Somalia (8), Chad (31) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (32) are at the bottom. Angola, Liberia and Togo saw marked improvements in their scores, while Eritrea and Madagascar slipped significantly. But in the other two categories - Safety and Rule of Law, and Participation and Human Rights - the picture was grimmer. On the economic front, progress was made, with 41 of the 53 nations registering improvements.
In sustainable economic opportunity, 41 African states improved; 10 of these were significant. According to the report, in human development, 44 of Africa's 53 countries progressed driven by improvements in most countries in the health and welfare sub-category. Two of the improvements in human development were significant.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance was created in recognition of the need for a robust, comprehensive and quantifiable tool for citizens and governments to track governance performance in Africa by Dr. Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim, a Sudanese-born British mobile communications millionaire.