Progress in African governance has stalled since 2019 due to security challenges and the economic and health impacts of COVID, as well as “widespread democratic backsliding” that poses a threat to development, according to the just-released annual report from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
Data from the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) report suggest there’s room for some optimism in the categories of Human Development and Foundations for Economic Opportunity. Some 90% of Africans live in a nation that’s shown progress between 2012 and 2021, the years covered in the annual report.
But there’s been steady deterioration on Security & Rule of Law and in the Participation, Rights & Inclusion categories. Armed conflict has increased, as has pressure on dissent and opposition activism. Governments must contend with climate impacts, food insecurity, lack of energy access for more than 600,000 people on the continent, heavy debt loads and other stressors.
“Coups are back, and democratic backsliding is spreading,” said Ibrahim. “These are challenging times. More than ever, commitment to strengthen governance must be renewed, unless we lose all progress achieved.”
Of the 54 countries covered in the report, the Indian Ocean island nation of Mauritius received the highest marks for good governance, as it has for years. On the African mainland, Tunisia ranked highest at No. 3 overall, followed by Botswana at No. 5 and South Africa at No. 6.
Nations with the poorest performance were South Sudan (No. 54), Somalia (No. 53) and Eritrea (No. 52).
The rankings are based on 81 indicators across 16 sub-categories in the four main areas. The data used to assign rankings comes from 47 independent sources.
Image: Mo Ibrahim Foundation