Windhoek — Though Namibia was placed fifth on the continent in terms of good governance, according to ratings by the 2017 Ibrahim Index on African Governance (IIAG), the watchdog on Monday suggested there is need for improvement regarding laws on access to information, combating corruption and reducing bureaucracy.
According to the 2017 IIAG rankings issued Monday by the watchdog on good governance in Africa, Mauritius remains the top-ranking African nation in sub-Saharan Africa, followed by Seychelles and Botswana at number three in overall rankings, Cape Verde is fourth and Namibia at number five.
The lowest performers included Somalia, South Sudan, Eritrea, Central African Republic and Sudan. It was noted that while Mauritius received a top score of 81.4, the island nation has shown a negative trend in the past five years, along with Angola, Lesotho and Zambia.
The report's authors state: "The African continent has, on average, been improving in overall governance. Looking back over the last decade (2007-2016) the African average score has improved by +1.4 score points from 49.4 (out of 100.0) to 50.8, reaching in 2016 its highest score since the IIAG's first data year (2000)."
On national security, Botswana got 100, Cape Verde 100, Mauritius 100, Seychelles 100 while Namibia was fifth at 98.8, Zambia was eighth with 94.1. Zimbabwe was at number 32 with 78.9, South Africa at number 33 with 78.5, but on maintaining rule of law South Africa was tops with 94.7.
On accountability Rwanda (72.1) topped the continent, followed by Mauritius (70.4). Botswana (66.3) was third, South Africa (61.9) fifth and Namibia was at number seven with 60.3. Zambia was number 16 with 43.8, Zimbabwe at number 40 with 24.6 and Somalia trailed the lot at 1.6.
On overall governance, Namibia was ranked fifth out of 54 African countries with a score of 71.2 out of 100, while on safety and the rule of law it received a tally of 78.1 out of a 100, according to the IIAG. On gender equality, Namibia was at the summit with a tally of 100, although Namibia fared poorly on gender balance in rural decision-making.
On access to justice, Namibia got a high score of 94.4 while on the judicial independence it got 94. During the period under review Namibia got a score of 54.2 out of a hundred on access to information; on the diversion of public funds it also fared poorly as it scored 53.7.
There is also a need for Namibia to pull up its socks on investigations of corruption cases where IIAG was of the expert opinion there is an increasing deterioration, as it scored a low of 38.9 out of 100. In terms of combating human trafficking Namibia received a score of 50.
It also noted Namibia is one of the ten African countries that had a change of leadership since 2007. The others are Egypt, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal, Somalia, Tanzania and Tunisia.
On cross-border tensions, Namibia is at peace with its neighbours and got a score of 100, while on the issue of political refugees it got a high of 98.6.
Namibia's performance in other categories was ranked as followes: human rights 75.5; political participation 81.5; civil society participation 83.4, free and fair elections 89.9; civil liberties 79.2; human rights conventions 71.4; customs procedures 66.4; business bureaucracy and red tape 66.7; investment climate 72.2.
On the provision of welfare services under the human development category, Namibia got 72, on social safety net it received 76.9 and on narrowing the income gap Namibia got a mere 37.3, whereas on employment creation it received 51.4, on educational provision 83.9 and on quality of education 66.7.