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AfricaMoney | August 21, 2017

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Mauritius tops Africa’s governance ranking

Mauritius tops Africa’s governance ranking

Mauritius topped the seventh Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IAAG), a survey of 52 African nations conducted by the Mo Ibrahim foundation, run by the Sudanese-British mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire.

With Mauritius and Cape Verde among the top three nations in the seventh Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IAAG), and fellow-island state Seychelles at number four, the clear statement to the rest of Africa is: island states are getting it right on human resource development and rule of law.

Mauritius’s top rating in this comprehensive survey covering 52 Africa nations comes only a month after the island nation emerged with top honours in Sub-Saharan Africa on the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI) 2013-14. Mauritius leap-frogged nine places and left South Africa behind to be ranked the world’s 45th most competitive economy.

Besides the trio of exemplary island nations, Botswana (at the 2nd spot), South Africa, Namibia, Ghana, Tunisia, Lesotho and Senegal were among the best-performing nations on the IAAG Index.

The rest of Africa also shows strong progress on this index which measures progress on corporate governance since 2000. Regarding the parameter-wise improvement in rankings, all the 52 African nations covered showed an improved performance in human development, 45 in sustainable economic opportunity, 35 in human rights, but only 20 raised the standards of rule and law over the past 13 years.

The “success stories” are strongly demonstrated by five post-conflict countries – Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Burundi – which top the table for most improved performers since 2000. Two countries, Angola and Rwanda, have remarkably shown year-on-year improvement in overall governance, coming from an all-time low in 2000 and reaching a peak in 2012. However, both countries have room for continued improvement, with Rwanda ranking 15th in overall governance, and Angola, 39th.

Overall, of the 94 indicators that make up the index, the three most improved indicators for the continent were tackling AIDS, containing the ratio of external debt service to exports and enhancing digital connectivity. Besides, the region also notched a vastly superior performance on mitigating Cross-Border Tensions, ensuring better primary school completion ratios and reducing child mortality rates.

However, countries like Madagascar, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and Libya struggled and saw their rankings fall due to a host of economic and political tensions.

Besides, even on a region-wide level, the rankings showed that citizens ended up feeling less safe even as workers saw their rights deteriorate. South Africa in particular has seen its economy held hostage by miners’ strikes. Further, the continent also saw a deterioration in ‘soundness of banks’ and ‘transfer of power’ pointing to a need for an in-depth look into the financial framework and the election process. Besides, safety and rule of law has shown the largest sub-category level deterioration since 2000, according to Hadeel Ibrahim, founding executive director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

“In this continent, where two-thirds of the population is now under 25, these diverging trends within the Safety & Rule of Law category are concerning. They may sound a warning signal, with the new century seeing fewer regional conflicts but increased domestic social unrest,” said Ibrahim in a press release.

Source: Mo Ibrahim Foundation

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