Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Governance in Africa

Africa: Governance Improving in Africa - Survey

"Governance has improved in nearly two-thirds of sub-Saharan African nations between 2005 and 2006 with Liberia showing the biggest leap in government performance in the period, while Mauritania deteriorated the most, a survey published yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia has shown.

"The 2008 Ibrahim Index of African Governance said 31 of 48 sub-Saharan nations recorded higher scores than in last year's survey, with Liberia the best improver...

"The survey, which ranked Mauritius, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Botswana and South Africa the best-governed countries on the continent, placed Nigeria as the 39th best-governed country, a slip from its previous 38th position...

"Compared to last year's survey, 31 countries improved their governance scores...

"'People look at headlines from two or three countries and forget there are 55 countries in Africa and in most of them life is normal,' Mo Ibrahim [a Sudanese-born telecommunications entrepreneur] told Reuters during the launch of his foundation's index in Ethiopia.

"'Governance performance across a large majority of African countries is improving...I hope these results will be used as a tool by Africa's citizens to hold their governments to account.'...

"The survey, entitled the "Ibrahim Index of African Governance", which is produced by a team from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University in the United States, supported by an advisory council of African academics and corporate leaders, ranks African countries using 57 criteria in five categories:
  • safety and security (assessing the effects of conflict and violent crime)
  • the rule of law, transparency and corruption
  • participation and human rights (which examines the freedom to vote and respect for press freedom and other rights)
  • sustainable economic opportunity and
  • human development (which considers poverty levels, health and education provision)."

See also: Mo Ibrahim Foundation

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