President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, commenting on Liberia’s ranking in the latest Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), has attributed the improvement to government reforms over the past few years.
Stated President Sirleaf on Tuesday: “We are extremely pleased that the reforms that have taken place over the past few years are now showing quantifiable results. We reiterate the strong commitment of the government to continue those reforms until Liberia ranks in the highest percentile of the indicators."
According to an Executive Mansion release, President Sirleaf made the assertion in response to the seventh Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) released this week that has ranked Liberia as the “most improved country” in Africa in terms of overall governance.
Since 2000, the 2013 IIAG stated, Liberia has shown the biggest improvements in the category of Safety and Rule of Law, which measures judicial functions, accountability, transparency and corruption, property rights, personal safety and national security, among others. Many African countries have seen deteriorations.
The 2013 IIAG noted that the strongest improvements at the continental level are registered in the categories of Human Development, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and, to a lesser extent, Participation and Human Rights. The Safety and Rule of Law category has declined worryingly, showing year-on-year decline since 2010.
Providing a broader perspective of the country’s performance, the 2013 IIAG ranks Liberia 29th overall, improved by +24.8 since 2000; 10th (out of 16) in the West African region; and ranks it highest in the category of Participation and Human Rights (19th out of 52).
Despite improvements since 2000, the 2013 IIAG notes that Liberia’s governance scored 50.3 (out of 100), lower than the African average (51.6); scored lower than the regional average for West Africa (52.5); ranked its lowest in the category of Sustainable Economic Opportunity (38th out of 52), and also lowest in the sub-category of Health (46th out of 52).
In a related development, the Acting Information Minister, Mr. Robert Kpadeh, on behalf of Government, also welcomed the report which recognizes significant moves made by Liberia in the governance arena since 2006.
He said that in the face of local criticism, a report from an impartial body like the Mo Ibrahim Foundation points at the real measurement of progress, and validates claims made by the government that it is working towards the greater good of the Liberian people.
The IIAG, established in 2007, is the most comprehensive collection of quantitative data on governance in Africa. Compiled in partnership with experts from a number of the continent’s institutions, it provides an annual assessment of governance in 52 African countries. The Republics of Sudan and South Sudan are not yet included due to a lack of sufficient disaggregated data.
The IIAG provides a tool with which to govern, highlighting continental, regional, national and thematic governance results. Data used in the compilation of the 2013 IIAG, which are from 2000 to 2013, are classified in four categories: Safety and Rule of Law; Participation and Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development.
The 2013 IIAG named the other four most improved countries as Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Burundi – all post-conflict countries.