Despite strong GDP growth over the last ten years, Africa has failed to generate economic opportunities for its young population – and that spells trouble for a sustainable future. It’s a key finding of the 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), released Monday by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The average Business Environment score for African countries, down almost five points in the last decade, is a special concern. “This is a worrying trend given that the number of working age Africans (15-64 years old) is expected to grow by almost another 30 percent over the next ten years,” the IIAG report said. “This will increase demand for jobs in an environment where on average progress in Sustainable Economic Opportunity is almost nonexistent.”
There is no strong relationship between the size of a country’s economy and its performance in Sustainable Economic Opportunity either. In 2017, four of the 10 countries with the highest GDP on the continent scored below the African average on Sustainable Economic Opportunity: Algeria, Angola, Nigeria, and Sudan sit in the lower half of the rankings on that measure. Meanwhile, the island nations of Seychelles and Cabo Verde rank at 5 and 6 for high scores in Sustainable Economic Opportunity.
In overall rankings based on dozens of measures, the two island countries – along with top-ranked Mauritius, and Namibia and Botswana – hold the Top 5 spots for good governance in Africa. The lowest ranks go to Somalia, South Sudan, Libya, Eritrea and the Central African Republic.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, launched in 2006, releases the annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) as an assessment of the quality of governance in African countries. It is the most comprehensive collection of data on African governance.
The complete report is available here.
Image: Mo Ibrahim Foundation