20 October 2013

The rule of rule has deteriorated in Africa over the last 12 months.  That is one of the findings of the Ibrahim Index, published in mid October each year.  Having little direct relevance to New Zealand, the index assesses development in Africa.  The 52 countries covered this year exclude both Sudan and South Sudan as insufficient data was available.  Ironically Mo Ibrahim, a philanthropist who established the Index, is Sudanese.

The index marks countries for their progress in four categories: human development, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and safety and the rule of law.

“There were no surprises at the top – and bottom – ranked countries overall. At the upper end of the scale, Mauritius was followed by Botswana, Cape Verde and Seychelles. These four countries have shared the four top slots, in various positions, since the index was launched….

Somalia was the poorest performing country overall and in all four categories, a position it has held for the past seven years. Second from bottom was the Democratic Republic of the Congo, followed by Eritrea and then the Central African Republic.

Liberia, Angola, Sierra Leone, Rwanda and Burundi have made the biggest improvements since 2000, while Madagascar, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Somalia and Libya have deteriorated the most over that period.”

The rule of law and safety category (which measures judicial process, accountability and transparency, corruption, social unrest, violent crime, conflict and refugees) had marks ranging from Botswana at 88.9% to Somalia at 4.9%. Mali and Egypt both had substantial deteriorations in the quality of their rule of law.

The Ibrahim Foundation has not awarded its Ibrahim Prize for a fourth time in the last seven years.The award is for a democratically elected former African leader who on stepping down from office shows excellence in a continuing commitment to good government.