Ibrahim: Governance Remains Poor in Africa


Tobi Soniyi in Lagos

African leaders remain largely unaccountable to the people who elected them into office, the 2017 Ibrahim Index of African Governance has revealed.

The index, a tool that measures and monitors governance performance in African countries, is carried out yearly by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The index report released today (Monday) further shows that leaders in the continent continue to rank poorly in governance generally.

The index assesses governance in Africa under four major headings namely Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Each of these categories contains sub-categories.

Among the 54 countries considered, Nigeria ranked 35th in overall governance and shows a marginal improvement when measured from 2007-2016. Out of 100, Nigeria scored 48.1.

The report said: “Progress in accountability is held back by a large deterioration in corruption and bureaucracy.”
The report shows that 35 countries had declining scores in corruption and bureaucracy in the past ten years.

The report also notes that “The African continent has, on average, been improving in overall governance. However, while overall governance has improved over the last decade at an average yearly rate of +0.16, over the latter part of this period (the last five years) the pace of progress has slowed down.”

The index further shows that the positive trend over the last decade at continental level in overall governance was mirrored by 40 countries which improved over the period. However, 12 countries deteriorated while one country (Malawi) remained stagnant.

While the vast majority of the continent performance in overall governance was on the up, several countries show signs of slowing down or even reversing their performance.

“Looking closely at the latter five years of the last decade, only 37 countries are now improving while 20 countries are showing a decline,” the report stated.

The index shows that the slowing continental trend in the last five years at overall governance level is reflected by varying performances in the underlying governance categories.

It states: “Over the last decade, overall progress has been driven by improved performance in three of the four governance categories of the IIAG, Human Development (+4.4), Participation & Human Rights (+2.2) and Sustainable Economic Opportunity (+1.3).
“However, further progress has been hindered by a decline, on average, in Safety & Rule of Law.

“Looking at the last five years within this period, varying trends appear. Human Development and Sustainable Economic Opportunity are still progressing but at a slower pace. Participation and Human Rights are the only categories to marginally pick up speed. Conversely, deterioration in Safety and Rule of Law, although still present, show signs of abating.

“Of the 40 countries that improve in overall governance in the last ten years, 18 are picking up pace over the last five years. In the last five years, their annual average increase in score is greater than that of the last ten years.”