Malawi ranks 17 in African governance

Malawi has been ranked 17 in the African-wide governance survey released on Monday by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF), the organisation committed to supporting great African leadership.

The Ibrahim Index is Africa’s leading assessment of governance, established to inform and empower the continents citizens.

Assessing all 53 African countries, the MIF index compiles rankings of countries according to the provision of suitable economic opportunity for citizens, human development, safety and human rights.

According to the latest index launched in London on Monday, Malawi scored 57 out of 100 for governance quality and is ranked 17th out of 53 countries, moving  up six places, an improvement from 23 out of 53 economies in 2009 with a score of 53.03 percent.

Mo Ibrahim: Warns os more Tahir Square if governments remain undemocratic

The report says Malawi scores lower than the regional average for Southern Africa which is 58 and that it scored higher than the continental average which is 50.

“At sub-category level, Malawi’s highest rank is in National Security (6th) and lowest in Education (43rd),” the report made available to Nyasa Times said.

The report noted that over the past five years Malawi’s overall governance quality improved between 2006 and 2010.

Malawi government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati welcomed Malawi’s ranking on governance describing it as “good news for Malawi.”

According to the Index Mauritius is the best governed country in Africa. The country, alongside Cape Verde, Botswana, Seychelles and South Africa have consistently ranked in the top five for overall governance performance in the five year history of the award.

The 2011 index showed much of the continent progressing on economic and human development. But in 39 of 54 states the performance on human rights was sliding backwards.

Founder and Chair of the Foundation, Sudanese billionaire philanthropist Mo Ibrahim said this year’s report gave “a complex yet hopeful picture” of governance.

He however said the report noted the general trend in Africa is one of imbalance and warned that it was this kind of imbalance – between economic and political opportunity – that had fuelled the uprisings in North Africa earlier this year.

Ibrahim also warned that “if economic progress is not translated into better quality of life and respect for citizens’ rights” the continent will witness more “Tahrir Squares” in apparent reference to insurrection that toppled the Egyptian dictator.

Meanwhile, during the London event, former president of Cape Verde, Pedro Verona Pires,  was a awarded this year’s $5m Mo Ibrahim prize for good governance in Africa.

The Foundation said Pires, who stood down as president only weeks ago, had helped make the archipelago off the West African coast a “model of democracy, stability and increased prosperity”.

There has been no African leadership winner for two years because organisers said there was no suitable candidate for a democratically elected leader who voluntarily left office.

The previous winners are Botswana’s President Festus Mogae and Mozambique’s Joaquim Chissano.

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