Mo Ibrahim Index: Rule of law decline holds back good governance
The 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), launched this week by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, reveals that improvement in overall governance in Africa over the past ten years has been held back by a widespread deterioration in the category of Safety & Rule of Law.
The tenth edition of the IIAG, the most comprehensive analysis of African governance undertaken to date, brings together a decade of data to assess each of Africa’s 54 countries against 95 indicators drawn from 34 independent sources. This year, for the first time, the IIAG includes Public Attitude Survey data from Afrobarometer. This captures Africans’ own perceptions of governance, which provide fresh perspective on the results registered by other data such expert assessment and official data.
Over the last decade, overall governance has improved by one score point at the continental average level, with 37 countries – home to 70% of African citizens – registering progress. This overall positive trend has been led mainly by improvement in Human Development and Participation & Human Rights. Sustainable Economic Opportunity also registered an improvement, but at a slower pace.
However, these positive trends stand in contrast to a pronounced and concerning drop in Safety & Rule of Law, for which 33 out of the 54 African countries – home to almost two-thirds of the continent’s population – have experienced a decline since 2006, 15 of them quite substantially.
This worrying trend has worsened recently, with almost half of the countries on the continent recording their worst score ever in this category within the last three years. This is driven by large deteriorations in the sub-categories of Personal Safety and National Security. Notably, Accountability is now the lowest scoring sub-category of the whole Index. Without exception, all countries that have deteriorated at the Overall Governance level have also deteriorated in Safety & Rule of Law.
The improvement in the Participation & Human Rights category, found in 37 countries across the continent, has been driven by progress in Gender and in Participation. However, a marginal deterioration appears in the sub-category Rights, with some worrying trends in indicators relating to the civil society space.
Sustainable Economic Opportunity is the IIAG’s lowest scoring and slowest improving category. However, 38 countries – together accounting for 73% of continental GDP – have recorded an improvement over the last decade. The largest progress has been achieved in the sub-category Infrastructure, driven by a massive improvement in the indicator Digital & IT Infrastructure, the most improved of all 95 indicators. However, the average score for Infrastructure still remains low, with the indicator Electricity Infrastructure registering a particularly worrying decline in 19 countries, home to 40% of Africa’s population. Progress has also been achieved in Rural Sector sub-category.
Human Development is the best performing category over the last decade, with 43 countries – home to 87% of African citizens – registering progress. All dimensions – Education, Health and Welfare – have improved, although progress in the sub-category Welfare has been affected by declines in Social Exclusion and Poverty Reduction Priorities indicators.
Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, says: “The improvement in overall governance in Africa over the last decade reflects a positive trend in a majority of countries and for over two-thirds of the continent’s citizens. No success, no progress can be sustained without constant commitment and effort. As our Index reveals, the decline in safety and rule of law is the biggest issue facing the continent today. Sound governance and wise leadership are fundamental to tackling this challenge, sustaining recent progress and ensuring that Africa’s future is bright.”
Key findings of the 2016 IIAG include:
· Over the past decade, the continental average score in Overall Governance has improved by one point.
· Since 2006, 37 countries, hosting 70% of African citizens, have improved in Overall Governance.
· The greatest improver at the Overall Governance level over the decade is Côte d’Ivoire (+13.1), followed by Togo (+9.7), Zimbabwe (+9.7), Liberia (+8.7) and Rwanda (+8.4).
· Even if Ghana and South Africa feature in the top ten performing countries in Overall Governance in 2015, they are also the eighth and tenth most deteriorated over the decade.
· At the Overall Governance level, the three highest scoring countries in 2015 are Mauritius, Botswana and Cabo Verde, and the three most improved over the decade are Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Zimbabwe.
· Safety & Rule of Law is the only category of the Index to register a negative trend over the decade, falling by -2.8 score points in the past ten years.
· In 2015 almost two-thirds of African citizens live in a country where Safety & Rule of Law has deteriorated over the last ten years.
· Accountability is the lowest scoring (35.1) of the 14 sub-categories in 2015.
· The continental average score for the Corruption & Bureaucracy indicator has declined by -8.7 points over the last decade, with 33 countries registering deterioration, 24 of them falling to their worst ever score in 2015.
· A large majority (78%) of African citizens live in a country that has improved in Participation & Human Rights over the past decade.
· Progress over the decade in Participation & Human Rights (+2.4 points) has been driven by Gender (+4.3) and Participation (+3.0), while Rights (-0.2) registered a slight decline.
· Six of the ten highest scoring countries in Rights have registered deterioration in the past ten years.
· Two-thirds of the countries on the continent, representing 67% of the African population, have shown deterioration in Freedom of Expression over the past ten years. Eleven countries, covering over a quarter (27%) of the continent’s population, have declined across all three civil society measures – Civil Society Participation, Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Association & Assembly – over the decade.
· In 2015 more than two-thirds of African citizens (70%) live in countries where Sustainable Economic Opportunity has improved in the last ten years.
· Digital & IT Infrastructure is the most improved indicator (out of 95) of the IIAG over the decade.
· Diversification is the lowest scoring indicator in the IIAG, and shows deterioration over the past ten years.
· 40% of Africans live in a country which has registered deterioration in Electricity Infrastructure over the decade, with over half of Africa’s economy affected by this issue.
· The marginal deterioration of -0.8 points over the decade registered in Business Environment masks considerably diverging trends, with 24 countries declining, five by more than -10.0 points, and 28 countries progressing, five by more than +10.0 points.
· Niger, Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo and Kenya have progressed by more than +10.0 points in Business Environment over the decade.
· 43 countries, hosting more than four-fifths (87%) of the African population, have registered improvement in Human Development over the decade. Rwanda, Ethiopia, Angola, and Togo have increased by more than +10.0 points in Human Development over the decade.
· All 54 countries have registered progress in Child Mortality over the decade.
· Over the last ten years, the Poverty indicator has registered improvement (+7.2 points), with 29 countries, accounting for 67% of Africa’s population and 76% of Africa’s GDP, improving.
· However, the Poverty Reduction Priorities indicator has registered an average decline of -1.3 points, with 23 countries, hosting 45% of Africa’s population, declining.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.