Article written

  • on 15.10.2013
  • at 02:00 PM
  • by Kevin Hind

Africa Is Rising But Slowly and Unevenly 0

Cape Town — Standards of governance are gradually improving across Africa. Although the performance of some nations has deteriorated in fields such as the rule of law, economic opportunity and citizens’ participation in government, every country on the continent has seen at least some improvement in the indicators of human development since the turn of the century.

These in broad outline are the conclusions to be drawn from the latest edition of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, the continent’s most wide-ranging survey of the way 52 of its nations are ruled.

While there are few surprises in the performances reported for most countries, this year’s index – building on innovations steadily introduced since the index was launched in 2007 – provides a richer and more nuanced picture of progress across the continent than seen before.

Giving his take on the findings of this year’s index, Mo Ibrahim, the chair of the foundation which publishes it, said they highlight “widespread improvements” across Africa.

“They show that 94 percent of people living in Africa now live in a country that has demonstrated overall governance improvement since 2000,” Ibrahim said. “Eighteen out of the 52 countries analysed saw their best ever performance.”

But he noted that average scores in the field of safety and the rule of law had declined. “If this deterioration is not turned around,” he warned, “it could signal an era where, despite fewer regional conflicts, we will see an increase in domestic social unrest across Africa.”

There is little change from last year to the list of the continent’s best- and worst-governed countries.

The best are, from the top, Mauritius, Botswana, Cape Verde, the Seychelles, South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Tunisia, Lesotho and Senegal (which replaces Tanzania at 10th place). The worst are, from the bottom, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, the Central African Republic, Chad, Zimbabwe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Cote d’Ivoire and the Republic of Congo (which replaces Nigeria).

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