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Index: Libya Among African Countries With Steepest Decline in Safety

  • Henry Ridgwell

A new report says governance across Africa has improved little in the past decade, as poor security has held back progress in areas such as human rights and economic growth. Libya is among the countries showing the steepest decline.

Almost two in three African citizens live in a country in which safety and the rule of law have deteriorated during the past decade, according to the annual Ibrahim Index on African Governance.

The report rates 54 African countries on a range of criteria including education, corruption and democracy.

Presenting the findings Monday in London, the founder of the index, Sudanese-born billionaire and philanthropist Mo Ibrahim, said the statistics send a clear message.

“This is a very strong mathematical correlation, between safety and the rule of law, and development," he said. "And so we cannot say it more loudly, that we need peace in Africa.”

Former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi E. Frazer, a member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, told VOA the decline in security is especially concerning.

“Because it is dragging down governance as a whole. But also because it affects the lives of people, you know, when you are talking about personal safety and national security you are talking about life and death,” she said.

Libya has shown one of the sharpest declines in national security and personal safety. Britain and France led the NATO airstrikes that helped to oust Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Frazer says that intervention was a clear mistake.

“We have lessons to learn. And one of the big lessons I would think is that if the region is overwhelmingly against an intervention, you should hesitate, you should think twice," she said. "Another lesson should be if you are not prepared to fix it, do not break it.”

Mauritius held on to the top spot, while Somalia remained at the bottom of the index. Rwanda was among the nations showing the fastest improvement, entering the top 10 for the first time.

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