Tuesday, October 7, 2008

African governance improving - Mo Ibrahim Report

Around two-thirds of African countries have improved in the field of governance over the past year, according to the latest index released Monday by the Mo Ibrahim foundation.

"New data shows that two-third of sub-Saharan African countries have improved governance performances. Thirty-one out of 48 countries have recorded an improvement," Ibrahim announced at a press conference in Addis Ababa.

"Obscured by many of the headlines of the past few months, the real story coming out of Africa is that governance performance across a large majority of African countries is improving," he said.

"I hope these results will be used as a tool by African civil society to hold their governments to account." The report singled out Liberia as having achieved the most progress over the past year to rank thirty-eighth in the index.

Africa's small island nations topped the rankings, with Mauritius retaining top spot with 85,1 points out of 100, ahead of the Seychelles and Cape Verde.

Fourth and fifth were Botswana and South Africa, while war-torn Somalia remained in last spot, dropping more points since 2007 to score 18,9.

"The Horn of Africa was the only region to see an average decrease in score during this period," the report. The index was produced on the basis of data gathered between 2005 and 2006 in sub-Suharan countries.

Ibrahim was a wealthy Sudanese-born British telecom magnate who created a foundation aimed at fostering good governance on the continent and attracting more investment.

The foundation also granted an award for African leadership aimed at encouraging good governance at the highest level. The prize money was around three times that granted by the Nobel jury.

Last year, former Mozambican president Joaquim Chissano was the first winner of prize, which consists of five-million dollars over 10 years and then 200 000 dollars a year.