London — The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has ranked Mozambique in 20th position out of 53 African countries in the 2013 edition of its annual index of African governance.
Out of a possible maximum of 100, Mozambique scored 54.8 points.
The countries with the highest governance ranking were Mauritius (82.9), Botswana (77.6), Cape Verde (76.7), Seychelles (75) and South Africa (71.3).
At the other end of the scale, the worst governed country in Africa by far is Somalia (8). The other lowest scorers are the Democratic Republic of Congo (31.3), Eritrea (31.9) and Central African Republic (32.7).
The index uses 94 indicators, divided into four broad categories - safety and the rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.
The indicators range from the incidence of violent crime, to the accountability of public officials, to access to electricity, mobile phones and computers, to vaccination rates.
Since 2000, Mozambique has most improved in the category of Human Development, which measures welfare, education and health.
Its highest scoring category is Participation and Human Rights, buoyed by a very high mark for Gender (78.2, the third highest score in the continent).
This sub-category takes a close look at gender equality, gender balance, primary and secondary education, women's participation in the labour force, „equal representation in rural areas, women in parliament, women's rights, and legislation on violence against women .
The Foundation pointed out that 94 per cent of Africans, including those in Mozambique, live in a country that has experienced overall governance improvement since 2000. The only countries to deteriorate are Madagascar, Eritrea, Guinea Bissau, Somalia, Libya and Mali.
Mozambique's index is above average for the African continent, but is eighth out of 12 in the southern African region.
Writing in the report's introduction, Mo Ibrahim noted, “the findings highlight widespread improvements across the continent since the turn of the century. Eighteen out of the 52 countries analysed saw their best ever performance in this year's index. But these figures, of course, also reveal the challenges of sustaining progress and underline that an equitable allocation of resources must be a priority for policy and decision makers”.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was set up by the Sudanese businessman who made his fortune with his mobile communications business.
The Foundation also awards an annual prize for heads of state that are democratically elected and who leave office having served the constitutional term as stipulated when taking office.
The prize is five million US dollars over 10 years and 200,000 dollars annually thereafter.
So far, only three people have been awarded the prize: former Mozambican President Joaquim Chissano in 2007; former Botswana President Festus Mogae in 2008; and former President of Cape Verde, Pedro Verona Pires in 2011. No prize was awarded this year.