This year’s Index of African Governance from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation shows that since 2011 – the year of the Arab Spring and the United States’ financial recovery – human development and rights, and participation have improved but security and economic opportunities have not.
Over the same period, 21 countries, including five of the ten best performers, have fallen in overall governance performance. The six countries that have shown consistent improvement are: Côte d’Ivoire (recovery after electoral crisis), Morocco (monarchy avoiding regional uprisings), Rwanda (authoritarian but economically efficient), Senegal (pluralist and pragmatic), Somalia (a regional intervention evicted Al Shabaab from the main cities and imposed a new government) and Zimbabwe (the power-sharing government’s achievements).
There has been some shuffling of the top five, which includes four of Africa’s smallest economies and its second biggest: it is headed by Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana (all of which have lost points) followed by South Africa and Namibia (which have gained points). The worst performers are brutally predictable: Somalia (still the lowest ranked despite gaining 1.2 points since 2011), South Sudan (torn apart by civil war), Sudan (Khartoum fighting on four fronts since the secession of the South), Eritrea (closed regime with the highest percentage of political refugees) and Chad (poor national governance as the president rents out his army to quell regional insurgencies).