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Nigeria ranks 37th in Mo Ibrahim 2014 governance index

Nigeria has been ranked 37th out of 52 countries in Africa by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on governance. This is an improvement over the 2013 ranking when Nigeria ranked 41st in Africa. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation was established in 2006 with a focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa.

According to the  latest Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2014 released yesterday, the country scored 46 percent in overall governance index, 38 percent on safety and rule of law, while on participation and human rights, it scored 49 percent.

The country was scored 43.3 percent on sustainable economic opportunity, while it got 53 percent on human development. Overall, Nigeria was scored 52 percent on category and sub-category ranks.

Assessing the African continent, the report  said governance has improved in last three years, but that there are still some concerning trends.

It further indicated that between 2009 and 2013 overall governance improved on the African continent. It said over the past ten years, the main drivers of this overall positive trend have changed from sustainable economic opportunity to participation, human rights and human development.

“The results of the 2014 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) challenge our perceptions about the state of African governance. Africa is progressing but the story is complex and doesn’t fit the stereotypes. Even if the overall picture looks good, we must all remain vigilant and not get complacent,” said Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

At the country level, the 2014 IIAG highlights the potential of governance underperformers, while revealing the weaknesses of current frontrunners. Countries in the bottom half of the rankings register the largest improvements over the past five years.

The report said Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Niger and Zimbabwe have changed course since 2009 from negative trajectories, to become the biggest improvers on the continent. This progress has been driven in large part by gains in Participation & Human Rights.

Meanwhile, the historically strong performers, Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana, South Africa and Seychelles, have shown some deterioration in at least one category over the past five years, notwithstanding that all these countries remain on overall upward trends.

At category level, the 2014 IIAG also reveals that the main drivers of the overall positive trend in African governance have changed. For the most recent five years, from 2009 to 2013, progress has been jointly driven by Participation & Human Rights and Human Development, whereas the main driver of gains in the previous period (2005-2009) was Sustainable Economic Opportunity, which has stalled in the most recent period.

Progress in the Participation & Human Rights category has gathered momentum, making it the most improved 2014 IIAG category over the last five years (+2.4). While in Rights and Gender the trends are both positive, it is in the area of Participation, particularly Political Participation, where the strongest gains in score have been achieved for this latest period.

“With a growing electorate that has demonstrated a desire to be heard, the results of the 2014 IIAG confirm that Participation & Human Rights is a crucial aspect of governance that governments cannot ignore,” said Mary Robinson, Board Member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

“Perhaps some of the low-hanging fruits of better economic management have been garnered. The challenge grows for the continent to become a fully competitive force in the global market at a time when commodity price trends are becoming less helpful to many countries on the continent,” said Lord Cairns, Board Member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

Meanwhile, the Safety & Rule of Law category continues to expose concerning trends, with 12 countries showing their weakest performance since 2000, in 2013.  Having shown a deterioration of -1.5 between 2005 and 2009, this dimension of governance registers another negative trend in the last five-year period.

“Even if overall governance trends are positive, contrasting performance in the 2014 IIAG is of concern. The strength and sustainability of Africa’s future prosperity will be defined by the continent’s commitment to all governance dimensions, including safety, security, and the rule of law,” said Salim Ahmed Salim, Chair of the Ibrahim Prize Committee.

Daniel Obi