Improvements in African governance

The 2008 Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance was released on Monday.  The index tracks five overarching categories of governance: safety and security; rule of law, transparency, and corruption; participation and human rights; sustainable development opportunity; and human development.  The purpose is to provide a comprehensive measure of progress in improving the quality of governance on the continent.

The report offers an upbeat assessment overall.  Two-thirds of African governments have improved their overall rankings from last year, with Liberia making the greatest improvements. The establishment of a democratic government under the leadership of Africa’s first female head of state, Ellen Sirleaf-Johnson, no doubt helped.

Topping the list were three small island states: Mauritius, the Seychelles, and Cape Verde, as well as the relatively-wealthy states of South Africa and Botswana.  At the bottom of the list were those where ongoing war has resulted in state failure: Somalia, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Chad, Sudan, Angola, and the Central African Republic.

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