New data provides a clear warning: the progress of government in Africa has slowed since 2015, declining for the first time in 2019. Deterioration in participation, rights, the rule of law and security threaten improvements in economic opportunities and human development. It is of particular concern with the COVID-19 pandemic to increase existing challenges and reduce the profits that are poorly won
The Ibrahim Index of African Government in 2020 (IIAG), launched today by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, points to a decline in performance in Africa for the first time since 2010.
The first decline in management performance since 2010
The Afrikaans average 2019 score for overall management falls by -0.2 points lower than that of 2018, which registers the first weakening on an annual basis since 2010. This recent decline is caused by deteriorating performance in three of the four IIAG categories: participation, rights and inclusion, security and the rule of law and human development.
In fact, progress has been declining since 2015. During 2015-2019, performance deteriorated in both human development and foundations for economic opportunities, while the decline continued in security and rule of law and participation, rights and inclusion, which even worsened for the last mentioned.
During the decade, however, the overall performance of governance progressed slightly, and in 2019, 61.2% of Africa’s population lives in a country where general governance is better than in 2010.
The IIAG for 2020 is the most comprehensive assessment of management performance in 54 African countries. It follows Africa’s trajectory across four main categories: Security and the rule of law; Participation, rights and inclusion; Foundations for economic opportunities; and human development. The new IIAG includes three key upgrades: an extensive scope of governance, including new areas such as environment and equality; enhanced indicators, thanks to better data availability; and a new section fully dedicated to Africa’s Citizens’ Voices.
Over the past decade, the government’s dimensions have followed different paths.
The progress made over the past decade is mainly driven by improvements in economic opportunities and human development. Foundations for Economic Opportunities (+4.1) and Human Development (+3.0) made good progress, led mainly by improvements in the subcategories Infrastructure and Health, complemented by advances in the sustainable environment.
However, it is threatened by an increasingly uncertain security situation and the erosion of rights as well as civil and democratic space. Over the past decade, both participation, rights and inclusion (-1.4) and security and rule of law (-0.7) have recorded alarming declines.
Over the past decade, 20 countries, where 41.9% of Africa’s population lives, while advancing human development and foundations for economic opportunities, have simultaneously declined in both the security and the rule of law and participation. , rights and inclusion.
Only eight countries manage to improve in all four categories during the decade: Angola, Chad, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Seychelles, Sudan and Togo.
COVID-19 raises existing challenges and threatens economic progress
The 2020 IIAG provides a picture of the continent before it was hit by COVID-19. In terms of participation, rights and inclusion, progress slowed long before the pandemic, only exacerbating the existing negative trajectory. Conversely, economic opportunities have been placed at a positive rate of sustained progress, and the impact of COVID-19 now threatens this much-desired achievement.
The citizens of Africa are increasingly dissatisfied with the delivery of government in their countries
In 2019, a new analysis of the Citizens’ Voices division in the IIAG revealed that the overall perception of overall government has the lowest score during the decade, with the weakening over the past five years.
A balanced approach to governance is the key to progress, as well as improvement in the rule of law, justice, inclusion and equality
The strongest correlations between overall government performance are found with the subcategories Law of Law and Justice and Inclusion and Equality. The indicators that show the strongest relationships with a high total management point span all four IIAG categories, emphasizing the importance of a balanced approach to management.
The growing imbalance between the various management dimensions outlined above is likely to threaten the overall performance of management.
Mo Ibrahim, chairperson of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, says: “This is a test time for Africa. Existing weaknesses and challenges in the African government, as discovered in the 2020 IIAG, are exacerbated by COVID-19, which also threatens economic progress. Citizens’ dissatisfaction and distrust in the delivery of governance are increasing. African states have the opportunity to both their intention to secure democracy and their ability to drive a new growth model that is more resilient, fairer, more sustainable. and is more independent. “