Governance in Africa is in decline, according to the Ibrahim index ~ #REUTERS:

In its 2020 edition, the Ibrahim index, which has been revised by strengthening its indicators, shows that while good governance in Africa has improved overall over the decade 2010-2019, the majority of the countries of the continent are showing a decline in terms of democracy and security.

Indeed, the report notes, if 61.2% of the African population now live in a country where progress has been recorded, in 2019 the average score fell for the first time since 2010. “The economic outlook and human development seem to be improving at the expense of citizens’ rights, the rule of law and security”, lit-on.

The index, which started in 2007, is the idea of ​​Sudanese billionaire Mo Ibrahim, 74, who made his fortune in the telecoms sector.

Southern Africa in the lead, Central Africa lagging behind

During the past decade, Southern Africa has obtained the best score in overall governance (53.3%), followed by West Africa (53.1%) and North Africa ( 52%). Two regions have a score below 50%: East Africa (46.2%) and Central Africa, which recorded the lowest score at 38.8%. Across Africa, only eight countries managed to improve in the four governance dimensions listed by the Ibrahim Index

In an interview with the VOA, Mo Ibrahim explains that a third indicator has been added to the index: that of “the citizen voice“, which tracks how citizens perceive their government.

In this regard, the report notes a curious fact: Africans generally have a negative view of their national government, even in countries where data indicates that there are real improvements in service delivery on the ground.

“This divergence between data and citizens’ perceptions is intriguing”, said Mo Ibrahim, who however remains positive when it comes to the 2010-2019 overview. “At least 60% of the population now lives under better governance“, he emphasizes.

The founder and chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, in his London office on November 16, 2020.

The founder and chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim, in his London office on November 16, 2020.

The coronavirus pandemic

The period covered ends at the end of 2019, just before Africa is hit by the pandemic of the new coronavirus. But the report points out that “In terms of rights, space for freedoms and participation for civil society, the continent was on the road to degradation long before and the pandemic has accentuated this negative trajectory”.

“Conversely, economic opportunities were on a positive trajectory of constant progress, and the impact of Covid-19 now threatens what has been achieved in this area”, deplores the report.

What makes fear the billionaire.

“It is not difficult to guess what will happen for 2020: we will see a severe economic decline and a flashback on the progress made by African countries in the economic field”, commented Mo Ibrahim.

According to him, African governments must watch “how to move forward“, despite crisis. “We have to get up with a better economic model: we have to stop relying on a single product of natural resources that we sell to a single customer, it does not work“, he believes.

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Source: Reuters-VOA.

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