Africa: Key Findings of the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance

PHOTO ESSAY: 2014 Governance Index - Africa's Five Most Improved Nations


An excerpt from a Mo Ibrahim Foundation briefing on key findings of the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The full briefing, including graphs and findings relating to the four categories on which the index is based, can be found here:


– At the continental level, average overall governance performance has registered a slight improvement (+0.9 score points) over the last five years.

– However, progress appears slightly smaller than over the previous five years, during which the continental average overall governance score increased by +1.2 score points.

– The recent five-year progression is now mainly driven by improvements in the categories of Participation & Human Rights and Human Development, whereas for the previous five years, continental improvement was largely driven by improvement in Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.

– During the most recent five-year period, 39 out of 52 countries registered an improvement of between +0.1 and +7.8 score points.

– Thirteen of these countries have improved in all four categories: Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, São Tomé & Príncipe, Kenya, Sierra Leone, Lesotho, Liberia, Zambia, Congo, Chad and Gabon.

– Four of the 39 countries, which all sit in the bottom half of the ranking table, have improved at the overall governance level by more than +5.0 points during this five-year period: Côte d’Ivoire (40th), Guinea (42nd), Niger (29th) and Zimbabwe (46th).

  • All four of these countries reversed previously negative trajectories. Over the past five years they have become the biggest improvers on the continent.
  • For Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea and Niger the improvement has been driven in large part by Participation & Human Rights.
  • For the fourth largest improver, Zimbabwe, the improvement was driven mainly by Human Development.

– Over the past five years, only Eritrea and Guinea-Bissau have deteriorated in overall governance and all four categories.

– Every African country has shown a decline in at least one sub-category over the past five years.

– Two countries, CAR (51st) and Guinea-Bissau (48th), sit in the bottom five rankings for overall governance and are also in the five most deteriorated countries on the continent.

– Over the past five years two countries have moved out of the bottom ten, Guinea (42nd) and Côte d’Ivoire (40th), and have been replaced by Libya (43rd) and Angola (44th).

– Egypt and Libya have both plummeted more than ten ranks over the last five-year period at the overall governance level.

Egypt has dropped from rank 12th to rank 26th.
Libya has dropped from rank 27th to rank 43rd.
– Weaknesses continue to appear among the front-runners. The top five performers in overall governance (Mauritius, Cabo Verde, Botswana, South Africa and Seychelles) are still susceptible to governance failings.

These historically strong countries, positioned in the top five since the first data year of the 2014 IIAG (2000), remain in the top five, and show improvement at the overall governance level over the past five years.
However, each of them deteriorated in at least one category in the most recent five-year period and the previous five-year period.


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