Saturday, June 22, 2024

Botswana regresses on good governance – Mo Ibrahim

A report by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on African governance released on Monday this week places Botswana among states that are showing a decline in overall progress for the first time in a decade.

According to the report, this has been driven by a decline in security and the rule of law in some countries among them Botswana.

While the 2020 Ibrahim Index on African Governance (IIAG) has named Botswana along Mauritius, Cape Verde, Seychelles and Tunisia as the 2019 top-scoring countries, it has warned of what it describes as “warning signs of declining with an increasing pace in governance”.

The report says Angola and Somalia remain at the bottom but on a steady path of improvement.

The report released on November 16 by the foundation in London states that some high-ranking countries, such as Mauritius, Botswana, or South Africa, though, still currently ranking 1st, 5th, and 6th respectively, follow a concerning path of deterioration since 2015.

In contrast, some lower-ranking ones such as The Gambia (16th), Ivory Coast (18th), and Zimbabwe (33rd) feature among the five largest improvers over the decade. Somalia, ranking 54th, is the 7th most improved country over the last ten years.

Mo IBRAHIM
Mo Ibrahim

“South Africa, ranked 6th, has declined over the decade with an increased pace since 2015, while 5th placed Botswana has started to show warning signs. The Participation, Rights & Inclusion category raises the most concerns, with more than half (29) of African countries having followed a negative trajectory in both the ten-year and five-year periods, and at an even faster pace over the latter,” the report says.

According to the report, Botswana did not even make it to the top five.

“The five highest scoring countries in 2019 are Mauritius (77.8), Cabo Verde (76.6), Seychelles (75.3), Tunisia (71.4) and Ghana (69.7). The five lowest scoring countries are Somalia (23.1), Sudan (22.5), South Sudan (20.9), Eritrea (17.1) and Equatorial Guinea (17.0),” the report says

The report says of the ten best performing countries, only Seychelles has managed to improve performance over the last ten years with a faster pace in the second half of the decade. Tunisia has been the only other top ten performer to improve over the decade, however progress has slowed since 2015. Botswana, South Africa and São Tomé and Príncipe are however bouncing back, having followed a positive trajectory in the last five years.

More concerningly, the report says, half of the ten best performers in 2019 have followed a trend of increasing deterioration over the decade.

It says: “The three highest scoring countries have declined over the decade, although Mauritius and Cabo Verde have reverted to progress between 2015 and 2019, while Botswana has slowed its decline in this period.”

It says the rate of progress has slowed since 2019, with the annual average trend between 2015 and 2019 (+0.05) being less than half that for the decade (+0.13).

A further cause for concern is that in 2019 the African average governance score has declined for the first time over the decade, while between 2010 and 2018 Overall Governance had either maintained or increased in score every year.

In general, the report says, progress has not maintained its pace between 2015 and 2019, with 14 countries registering slowing improvement and as many as 25 countries declining in the same period. Between 2018 and 2019 over half of African countries have seen their Overall Governance score decline.

The analysis therefore suggests that strong institutions, rule of law, impartial and effective justice, as well as equality are key dimensions for countries to set themselves on the path towards sound governance. The Rule of Law & Justice assesses compliance with the rule of law by the executive, impartiality of the judicial system, judicial processes including access, affordability and timeliness, equality before the law, law enforcement, as well as property rights.

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Read this week's paper