Malawi ranked outside top 20 in African governance survey

malawi.jpegMalawi has been ranked 25 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 Africas leading assessment of governance, established to inform and empower the continents citizens.

Assessing all 53 African countries, the MIF index measures the delivery of public goods and services to citizens by government and non-state actors across 84 indicators of governance grouped in four overall categories: Safety and Security, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development.

In an earlier ratings released by African Governance Index prepared by Harvard Universitys Kennedy School of Governance, Malawi were ranked 14 on the list of 53 countries.

The Harvard Index used 57 indicators, including maternal mortality, gross domestic product per capita, respect for human rights and judicial independence to rate governance in Africa in which Malawi scored 63.3 percent.

Harvard Index is coordinated by Robert Rotberg and Rachel Gisselquist. The group was supported by billionaire Mo Ibrahim of Sudan but they have since split.

However, in a press statement, the Ibrahim index said in 2007/08, Malawi scored 53.0 out of 100, and was ranked 25th out of 53 African countries.

Malawi scored below the Southern African regional average, which was 58.1, MIF said.

According to the Ibrahim Index, Malawi however did score above the overall continental average, which was 51.2.

On human development, Malawi averaged 44.7 percent.

At category level, Malawi scored well above the continental average in the category of Safety and Rule of Law, and also above the continental average in the category of Participation and Human Rights.

However Malawi did score below the continental average in the categories of Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development, said Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

In his statement, Ibrahim said while many of the results may conform to peoples intuition, there are also some surprises.

He said one of those surprises is the continued lack of robust and comprehensive data with which to assess the African continent.

To take just one example, poverty data for the majority of sub-Saharan Africa is non-existent, extremely patchy or completely out-of-date.

Reliable poverty data for Malawi dates from 1998 and for Niger from 1993. This lack of data has led to some expected indicators to be dropped from the index, said Ibrahim

He said the data gaps are particularly worrying with respect to the Millennium Development Goals and the international communitys focus on halving poverty by 2015.

Ibrahim said the Foundation refined its assessment of Sustainable Economic Opportunity.

He said despite the constraints, Mo Ibrahim Foundation included in this years index the most robust, comprehensive, and current data available.

In particular we have focused on ensuring that the index reflects the recent performance of governments so that it can of maximum use to civil society. We have worked to eradicate the legacy effect of current administrations scores being affected by the successes or failures of their predecessors.

He explained that the index does not measure miles of paved roads and instead looks at issues related to economic management.

By examining the four categories of Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development we are able to provide a comprehensive assessment of governance, he said.

Southern Africa is the continents best performing region, with an average score of 58.1, ahead of northern Africa with an average 57.7. Whereas northern African countries scored highly on economic development and personal safety, they lost points for democratic participation and civil rights in autocratic regimes.

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