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10 October 2016

Rwanda leads the pack in governance

kagame1Rwanda recorded the greatest improvement in governance among East African states in the past 10 years according the latest survey.

According to the latest Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) report released on October 3, Rwanda came fifth with 8.4 points improvement, behind Côte d’Ivoire (+13.1), Togo (+9.7), Zimbabwe (+9.7) and Liberia (+8.7) respectively.

Though Ghana and South Africa feature in the top 10 performing countries in Overall Governance in 2015, they are also the eighth and 10th most deteriorated over the decade.

But it is Zimbabwe’s performance that has sceptics question the report’s conclusion that Africa has generally improved in governance in the past 10 years.

The concern is that while the latest Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance report shows that key human development indicators such as health, education and social welfare have recorded the most impressive growth in 43 out of the 54 African countries surveyed, there is little linkage with the sustenance of human development and improved livelihoods in Africa.

The latest index covered 95 indicators across each of the 54 countries, and also included the results of Afrobarometer, which captures the opinions of African citizens on governance performance in their countries.

Zimbabwe, according to the report, has improved by 9.7 points from 3.4 in 2006 to 44.3 out of 100 in 2015, despite economic and social instability.

Sophie Masipa, one the researchers, told The EastAfrican that most of the improvement in Zimbabwe came from a low base, and that the score achieved in 2015 remains low.

Zimbabwe mostly improved in the judicial process sub-category, where the country realised a 37.5 point improvement in an area the country has been scoring zero in the past eight years.

The report says that overall, governance has improved by one score in 37 out of the 54 countries surveyed, where 70 per cent of the African citizens have realised improvement in human development, participation and human rights and sustainable economic opportunity categories.

Improvement

For example, Niger, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Kenya have become better places to conduct business by 10 points over the decade, despite challenges in other subsectors.

In general, the continent has recorded positive trends due to increased access to health and education facilities, the child mortality rate has declined significantly across the 54 countries, while there are indications of a more participatory approach to development.

In Kenya, considerable improvement has been realised in the accountability category, with online services recording the highest score of 24.6 points in the past ten years.

Other sub-sectors such as judicial independence and judicial process have improved considerably since the promulgation of a new constitution in 2010. However, Kenya scores poorly in access to information and accountability of public officials.

Kenya ranks 12th out of 54 countries in Overall Governance with a score of 58.9 out of 100. The country’s score has improved by +5.1 points over the past 10 years.

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