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Monday, 05 October 2009 12:28

Mauritius Tops African Good Governance Index

By Kester Kenn Klomegah

MOSCOW, Russia, October 5 (Buziness Africa) - Mauritius is considered the best governed African country for the third consecutive year, according to a report released by the United States Harvard University.


The Annual Index of Governannce carried out by researchers of the Kennedy School of Governance of Harvard University notes that Seychelles ranks second followed by Cap Verde, Botswana, Tunisia, Algeria, Namibia, South Africa and Sao Tomé and Principe. At the bottom of the list are Chad, Sudan and Somalia.


For the first time the index included North African countries and Tunisia and Algeria were in the top ten. Even though, Tunisia’s human rights record has been described as ‘appalling’ the country is noted to rate so well in terms of human development, economic opportunity and security, which scores compensated for the human rights record.


South Africa, however, slipped from fifth to ninth. The report noted that that was due to the country’s low scores in the areas of respect for civil and political rights and the rule of law.


Zimbabwe ranked 45 out of the 53 nations surveyed. Top oil producers Angola and Nigeria landed at 46 and 38. The data for this survey was collected in 2007 and therefore, the election related violence of 2008 in Zimbabwe was not covered.


The report which has been issued at the behest of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, indicates that 57 criteria have been used for the classification.


The 2009 Index of African Governance used 57 indicators, including maternal mortality, gross domestic product per capita, respect for human rights and judicial independence, to rate governance in the continent’s 53 nations.


The criteria include gross domestic product, free elections, respect of human rights, independence of the Judiciary, corruption and also economic factors such as inflation and growth.

Social criteria are also taken into consideration, namely infant mortality and access to drinking water, the report issued to the press noted.


Robert Rotberg and Rachel GisseIquist, the coordinators of the index indicate in a communiqué said that the improvement of the life of all the people of Africa is the primary objective of the classification.


They add that in the light of the indicators that have been studied, governments of different African countries can improve governance for the benefit of their population.


The authors said in a statement, “improving significantly the lives of all of Africa’s peoples is the overriding purpose of the index,” adding, “By noting which indicators lag and which have advanced, governments can improve the outcomes for their populations.”


The Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership is awarded annually to a former African executive head of state or government who has demonstrated excellence in African leadership.


The Prize consists of US$5 million over 10 years and US$ 200,000 annually for life thereafter. A further US$200,000 per year for good causes espoused by the winner may be granted by the Foundation during the first ten years. The former Mozambican leader, Joaquim Chissano was the first winner of the Prize.




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