2009 Ibrahim Index Of African Governance Shows That Half Of Africa’s 10 Best Performing Countries Are In Southern Africa

Mo Ibrahim Foundation, 5 October 2009

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA: The 2009 Ibrahim Index of Governance is published today by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, an organisation committed to supporting great African leadership. The Ibrahim Index is Africa’s leading assessment of governance, established to inform and empower the continent’s citizens.

The Ibrahim Index measures the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by government and non-state actors across 84 indicators of governance. Those governance indicators are grouped in four overall categories: Safety and Security, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development. All 53 of Africa’s countries are then ranked according to their total scores across the categories.

2009 Ibrahim Index of African Governance

Mauritius tops the 2009 Ibrahim Index with a total score of 82.8, ranking first in all four main categories. Cape Verde is ranked second with a total score of 78.0. Seychelles is ranked third with a total score of 77.1, followed by Botswana with a total score of 73.6. South Africa is ranked fifth with a total score of 69.4.

Somalia is the worst governed country on the continent, with a total score of 15.2. In 52nd place, Chad has a total score of 29.9, while Zimbabwe is third from bottom in 51st place with a total score of 31.3.

Southern Africa is the continent’s best performing region, with an average score of 58.1, followed closely by North Africa with an average score of 57.7. West Africa is ranked third with an average score of 51.7, followed by East Africa with a score of 46.9. Central Africa is the worst performing region, with an average score of 40.2.

Central Africa is the worst performing region across all four categories. All seven Central African countries are ranked outside the top 20 in the 2009 Ibrahim Index, with all of them except Gabon performing below the average for the continent.

Reflecting important structural and methodological improvements to the Ibrahim Index over the last year, the 2009 Ibrahim Index includes a new framework for assessing governance, and improvements to make the index more reflective of current governance realities. For the first time, in 2009 the Ibrahim Index covers all 53 countries in Africa. It also includes data from 2008, making it more current than any other assessment of African governance.

The full Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation convened in Cape Town this morning for the launch of the third iteration of the Ibrahim Index. Mo Ibrahim, the founder and Chairman of the Foundation, says: “The 2009 Ibrahim Index gives us the clearest – and most current – snapshot of governance performance on the continent we have ever had. With Southern Africa outperforming North Africa, we can see a picture emerging that fundamentally challenges our perceptions about Africa. Our objective is to generate debate about what we can expect our governments to deliver in our name.”

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is supported by a research team at the Foundation, headed by Dr Hania Farhan, a Technical Committee of representatives from key African institutions, and Dr Daniel Kaufmann of the Brookings Institution, who coproduces the Worldwide Governance Indicators. The Foundation also draws on the expertise of an Advisory Committee of academics drawn from institutions across Africa.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance was created in recognition of the need for a robust, comprehensive and quantifiable tool for citizens and civil society to track government performance in Africa. The development of the Ibrahim Index reflects the Foundation’s long term commitment to support African ownership of the governance debate, to develop capacity in African institutions, and to improve the quality, reliability, and availability of data about Africa.

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