Botswana has been ranked top of all 52 African countries on the rule of law and accountability. This is according to the sixth Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), released Monday. The index further ranks Botswana second in Southern Africa and third out of all 52 African countries continent on governance.
The 2012 IIAG provides full details of Botswana’s performance across four categories of governance: Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Out of a total of 100 points, Botswana scores 77 for overall governance, higher than the regional average for Southern Africa, which is 59 and the continental average, which is 51.
According to the IIAG report, Botswana received its highest score in the Safety and Rule of Law category (89) and its lowest score in the Sustainable Economic Opportunity category (68). At sub-category level, Botswana’s highest rank is in Rule of Law and Accountability (1st) and lowest is in Rural Sector (15th). The report further revealed that between 2000 and 2011 Botswana’s overall governance score improved. Southern Africa emerges as the top performing African region in the 2012 IIA. The region performs strongly in all four categories of the IIAG, ranking 1st in Safety and Rule of Law and Participation and Human Rights, and 2nd in Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Southern Africa scores above the continental average in all four categories and in 13 out of 14 sub-categories of the IIAG. Rural Sector is the only sub-category in which Southern Africa’s score falls below the continental average. The 2012 IIAG shows that governance in Africa has improved since 2000. In the last 12 years, at the continental level, there have been improvements in 11 out the 14 sub-categories of the IIAG. The largest improvements are shown in the sub-categories of Health, Rural Sector, and Gender, with all indicators showing improvements since 2000. At indicator level, of the 88 indicators included in the IIAG, the largest improvements appear in Cross-Border Tensions, Core International Human Rights Conventions, Legislation on Violence against Women, Ratio of External Debt Service to Exports, Digital Connectivity and Anti-Retroviral Treatment Provision.
The report states that, “however, while governance continues to improve in many countries, some of Africa’s regional powerhouses ÔÇô Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa ÔÇô have shown unfavourable governance performance since 2006. Over the past six years, all four countries have declined in two of the four main IIAG categories ÔÇô Safety and Rule of Law and Participation and Human Rights. Each of these four countries deteriorated the most in the Participation sub-category, which assesses the extent to which citizens have the freedom to participate in the political process. South Africa and Kenya have also registered declines in Sustainable Economic Opportunity. And Nigeria, West Africa’s powerhouse, has for the first time this year fallen into the bottom ten governance performers on the continent. Abdoulie Janneh, former Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa and Board Member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, said: “Given the vast natural and human resources of these four regional powers, these governance results are a concern. Each of these countries plays a key role in the economic and political landscape of the continent. To continue to optimally play this role requires a sustained commitment to balanced and equitable governance.”