Africans see economic gains, democracy losses

Many Africans are enjoying greater access to economic opportunity but are seeing their political rights undermined, according to an index of governance measures published on Monday.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation, also known for an annual prize aimed at African leaders, warned there was a risk that citizens’ rights were being neglected as Africa made economic strides.

“We have seen from evidence and experience across the world that discrepancies between political governance and economic management are unsustainable in the long term,” Foundation board member Salim Ahmed Salim said.

The 2010 index is based on 88 indicators drawn from official sources and was largely unchanged overall from 2009 as economic and health gains were cancelled out by declines in political rights, personal safety and the rule of law.

Mauritius, Seychelles, Botswana, Cape Verde and South Africa led the overall governance ranking as they did last year, with Somalia, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Eritrea and Sudan once again at the bottom.

Angola, Liberia and Togo each made marked improvements in their overall scores, while Eritrea and Madagascar saw declines. The full dataset is published on the foundation website at .

The indicators cover a broad range of categories such as violent crime, corruption, labour rights, girls’ education, inflation and child mortality rates.

The mixed picture appears to reflect a continent where industry sectors such as portable telephony are booming and investors are jostling over access to raw materials even as violent conflicts deepen and democratic rights are abused.

The foundation has chosen for the past two years not to award its African leadership prize, aimed at former heads of state deemed to have fully dedicated their term in office to helping their people.

Mo Ibrahim is a Sudanese-born telecoms entrepreneur who set up the foundation in 2006 with the goal of promoting good governance and leadership. – Reuters

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Mark John
Mark John works from United States. Social thinker, author, filmmaker focused on arts, sciences and cutting-edge technology. Mark John has over 2237 followers on Twitter.

Eastern Cape schools to only open for grades 3, 6...

The province says the increase in Covid-19 cases has made it re-evaluate some decisions

Malawi celebrates independence day, but the first president left his...

The historical record shows that Malawi’s difficulties under Hastings Banda were evident at the very moment of the country’s founding

Gauteng health MEC Bandile Masuku’s first rule: Don’t panic

As Gauteng braces for its Covid-19 peak, the province’s MEC for health, Bandile Masuku, is putting his training to the test as he leads efforts to tackle the impending public health crisis

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday