Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Botswana’s rule of law takes a knock under Masisi – report

Although President Mokgweetsi Masisi proclaims the rule of law as his calling card, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation has revealed that Botswana’s rule of law has deteriorated faster under his watch than under his predecessor, Lt Gen Ian Khama.

Botswana however emerged among Africa’s top three countries on governance.

According to the report by Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Botswana is among the three highest scoring African countries on governance where security and the rule of law has deteriorated at a faster pace than 10 years ago.

The report states that while Botswana is among the highest scoring countries in overall governance its decline in the rule of law blights its overall governance score.

The overall governance ranking is as follows; Mauritius (-2.2, ranking 1st) Seychelles (+9.3, ranking 2nd), Tunisia (+3.1, ranking 3rd) and Botswana (+0.8, ranking 5th) have improved since 2012. The report says Mauritius (-2.2, ranking 1st) and Cabo Verde (-1.2, ranking 4th) have deteriorated over the decade.

Pointing out that Africa is less safe and secure than 10 years ago, and the rule of law has weakened in the last five years, the report reveals that, “12 countries have declined in all 4 underlying sub-categories of Security & Rule of Law since 2012, including 3 of the 5 highest scoring countries: Botswana (3rd), Cabo Verde (4th) and Namibia (5th).”

The sub-categories for the Security & Rule of Law category are; Rule of Law & Justice, Accountability & Transparency and Anti-Corruption.

The report states that although Security & Rule of Law remains the second highest scoring category in 2021, with an African average score of 48.9 (out of 100.0), it has declined faster than any other Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) category both over the decade (2012-2021) and in the latest five years (2017-2021).

The report states that in the latest period the pace of decline has even worsened (at an annual average rate of -0.23 compared to -0.14 over the decade). In more than half (32) of the African countries Security & Rule of law has declined over the decade, with 23 countries deteriorating at a faster pace between 2017 and 2021, more than for any other category. “

“This category (Security and Rule of Law) is home to the most declined sub-category over the ten-year period (Security & Safety) as well as two of the three lowest scoring sub-categories in 2021 (Accountability & Transparency and Anti-Corruption),” the report says.

Further deterioration at the category level has been slowed by the still positive ten-year trajectories of the sub-categories Rule of Law & Justice and Anti-Corruption (+1.4 and +0.7, respectively). However, both sub-categories have registered warning signs in the latest five years, with Rule of Law & Justice recording a deterioration and progress in Anti-Corruption stalling.

“For Rule of Law & Justice, this has been driven mostly by an environment where Africa’s citizens have become less equal before the law and judicial systems less impartial. Lack of progress since 2017 in Anti-Corruption has been mostly due to an accelerated pace of deterioration in the indicators Anti-Corruption Mechanisms and Public Procurement Procedures,” says the report.

Commenting on the report, former President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia and 2014 Ibrahim Laureate said it is particularly concerning that Security & Rule of Law is the fastest declining IIAG category. He said this means, some parts of the African continent are less safe and less secure than 10 years ago. Pohamba said it is also not encouraging to learn from the Report that 32 African countries have declined in Security & Rule of Law over the decade. “It is my opinion that without Security & Rule of Law on the continent, no amount of achievement will have a lasting impact. It is recommended that based on the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s 2022 IIAG, African countries and institutions put in place the corrective efforts and measures to improve the worsening Security & Rule of Law situation on the continent,” said Pohamba.

Meanwhile the report also found that higher GDP does not necessarily indicate better governance.

Says the report; “Five of the ten countries with the highest nominal GDP per capita in Africa are among those with the highest Overall Governance score in 2021: Mauritius (1st), Seychelles (2nd), Botswana (5th), South Africa (6th), Namibia (8th).”

 However, the report says, two of the countries with the highest GDP per capita rank in the bottom ten in Overall Governance – Libya (45th) and Equatorial Guinea (51st).


Read this week's paper