October 5, 2016Michael Sutherland-Shaw
A deterioration in safety and rule of law across Africa over the last 10 years has seen improvements in governance stall, according to a new report from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) – the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent – rates 54 African nations on security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education.
According to the index, since 2006 the average level of governance across Africa has improved by only one score point, from 49 to 50 out of 100.
In addition, major economies like South Africa (69.4, with a -1.9 decrease) and Ghana (63.9) remain in the top 10, however, both nations have seen their scores fall.
Mauritius remains the highest scoring country (79.9, with a +2.3 increase), followed by Botswana (73.7), Cape Verde (73.0), the Seychelles and Namibia. The three most improved nations over the decade are Côte d’Ivoire (52.3, with a +13.1 increase), Togo and Zimbabwe.
At the other end of the index, Somalia (10.6), Burundi, and the Central African Republic continue to struggle. For Libya (29.0, with a -18 decrease), the last decade has been one of civil war and unrest, dropping its ranking from 29th to 51st in 2015.
In an interview with Reuters, Sudanese telecoms businessman and foundation chair Mo Ibrahim said, “I am a little bit disappointed because governance moved quite fast between 2000 and 2006, it improved considerably, but over the last ten years on average it only increased by one point, and we need to do better, and we really need to look at the areas that are holding us back.”
A drop in the Safety and Rule of Law category, which measures personal safety, national security as well as accountability and the judicial system has had the largest impact on the continent’s overall level of governance. Within the last three years, almost half of African countries have recorded their worst score in this category.
“The decline in safety and rule of law is the biggest issue facing the continent today. Sound governance and wise leadership are fundamental to tackling this challenge, sustaining recent progress and ensuring that Africa’s future is bright,” Ibrahim said.
“All businesses have an opportunity and an obligation to make a difference in the world,” says Manuel Pietra, President and CEO of FreeBalance in a recent interview. “Our actions matter and our success should be measured by the impact that we have in the countries and communities where we do business.”
Social responsibility and global citizenship are core values of the company because of the impact its software and services have on the countries where it operates. FreeBalance customers include national, state or provincial, and local governments trying to improve country prosperity, governance and the stewardship of public funds through digital transformation.
There is a strong association between country growth and good governance. Broad and inclusive economic development can overcome the instability and poverty that plagues the modern world. “Improving governance, particularly in the public sector, is the most effective enabler of country growth,” says Pietra. “We’ve seen that the most valuable cross-cutting governance initiative in any country is public financial management reform.”
FreeBalance supports public financial management (PFM) reform by providing its unified Government Resource Planning (GRP) platform to public sector organizations around the world. The web-native FreeBalance Accountability Suite supports financial, human resources and performance management, offering scalability over time to reflect the evolving needs of the modern public sector.
- Cabo Verde
- South Africa
- Guinea Bissau
- Democratic Republic of Congo
- Equatorial Guinea
- Central African Republic
- South Sudan
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