Africa’s governance performance worsened in 2019 for the first time in nearly a decade, according to the Index of African Governance produced by the Mo Ibrahim foundation.
The report saw a broad deterioration in the areas of human rights, security and rule of law, which were worsened by the impact of Covid-19.
The 2019 African average score for overall governance declined by -0.2 points from 2018, registering the first year-on-year score deterioration since 2010.
“This is a testing time for Africa…Citizens’ dissatisfaction and mistrust with governance delivery are growing. African states have an opportunity to demonstrate both their resolve to safeguard democracy and their ability to drive a new growth model,” said the foundation’s chair Mo Ibrahim.
The report said that progress achieved over the past decade was mainly driven by improvements in economic opportunities and human development.
“This is threatened, however, by an increasingly precarious security situation and concerning erosion in rights as well as civic and democratic space,” it said.
The survey registered what it considered worrying declines in the areas of participation, rights and inclusion, and security and rule of law.
Nevertheless, the researchers found that a majority of Africans live in a country where governance is better than it was a decade ago.
The IIAG, the most comprehensive survey of its kind on the continent, rates 54 African nations against criteria including security, human rights, economic stability, just laws, free elections, corruption, infrastructure, poverty, health and education.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation compiles the data with the aim of promoting better governance and economic development in Africa.