News / Africa

African Governance Improving, Index Finds

FILE - A tour guide stands with a group of tourists at a viewpoint overlooking Port Louis on June 6, 2008. Mauritius took the top spot once again in annual index.
FILE - A tour guide stands with a group of tourists at a viewpoint overlooking Port Louis on June 6, 2008. Mauritius took the top spot once again in annual index.
Anita Powell
Sudanese magnate Mo Ibrahim announced his seventh annual African Governance Index Monday, saying there are both positive and negative trends to watch.

Although this year’s ranking looks similar to last year’s, Ibrahim says progress is being made slowly on his home continent but there are worrying trends to note.

On the up side, 18 of the 52 nations surveyed earned their best scores ever. For 94 percent of Africans, governance has notably improved since 2000, when data started being collected and analyzed, the report says.

Tiny Mauritius again nabbed the top spot for the best governing in Africa, having the highest score for personal safety, economic opportunity and development.

On the downside, the criteria of safety and the rule of law have declined, signaling a worrying shift toward domestic social unrest. This is particularly true in the bottom six countries which included Zimbabwe, Chad, the Central African Republic, Eritrea, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Somalia.

And, despite having a legitimate government for the first time in decades, violent Somalia again scored worst in the class in all four of the foundation’s criteria for good governance: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development.

For the second year in a row, the board did not award a highly coveted $5 million African governance prize to a former head of state. There was no winner. Speaking at his London headquarters, the telecom magnate said a new development in international justice could also pose challenges in the future.

On Saturday, the chairman of the African Union said that the continental body would not allow a sitting head of state to be prosecuted by the International Criminal Court. Two sitting African leaders are on the court’s docket: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir and Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose trial is set to begin next month over his alleged role in promoting ethnic violence after a contested 2007 election.

Ibrahim shares some of the criticism of the International Criminal Court, such as allegations that the court is excessively focused on Africa.  But he added the continent needs a reputable institution to try atrocities.

“Africa does not corner the market in atrocities. There are atrocities everywhere," he said. "Why the ICC is not showing the same energy in prosecuting atrocities elsewhere other than Africa, that is a valid question. At the same time, we need really to ensure that, in Africa, there is no impunity. And we have also our share of genocide, massacres, etcetera. And the people who committed these crimes need to be tried. Unfortunately, Africa hasn’t got an African court of justice. And that is needed, and if there’s no African court of justice, then ICC at least can fulfill some role which African countries cannot do."

The ranking doesn’t include Ibrahim’s nation of Sudan, or South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011. The foundation says it doesn't have comprehensive data on either nation.

The governance award, created by the Sudanese-born Ibrahim in 2007, can go to former African leaders who have left office in the last three years.

In addition to showing exceptional leadership, the award stipulates that the winner be democratically elected and that he or she leave office voluntarily after serving only a constitutionally mandated term.

Former winners include former South African president Nelson Mandela, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid