According to the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance released on Monday, Zimbabwe was placed 51 out of the 53 African countries judged for their commitment to four pillars of governance — safety and rule of law; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity and human development.
The latest index became the first since its introduction in 2007 to include 53 African countries following previous criticisms over its exclusion of North African nations.
Zimbabwe had an overall score of 33,3 out 100. In the region Zimbabwe was ranked the worst performer.
The index also measures the delivery of public goods and services by government and non-state actors.
“Eighty-four indicators are used making the Ibrahim index the most comprehensive collection of qualitative and quantitative data that accesses governance in Africa,” the foundation said.
Simply put “governance” means: the process of decision-making
and the process by which decisions are implemented (or not implemented).
Mauritius was ranked the top performer with an overall score of 82,8 out of 100. Cape Verde was second with 78, while Seychelles was third with 77,1. Fourth and fifth positions went to Botswana (73,6) and South Africa (69,4).
Somalia was ranked the worst performer at number 53 with a score of 15,2. Chad was number 52 with a score of 29.
Recently the terms “governance” and “good governance” are being increasingly used in development literature. Bad governance is being increasingly regarded as one of the root causes of all evil within societies.
Major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that reforms that ensure “good governance” are undertaken. Zimbabwe’s governance has over the past 10 year been classified as “bad” due to the unstable economic environment which has been breeding ground for corruption unaccountability and ineffectiveness.
Universally good governance has eight major characteristics —participatory, consensus-oriented, accountable, transparent, responsive, effective and efficient, equitable and inclusive and follows the rule of law.
It assures that corruption is minimised, the views of minorities are taken into account and that the voices of the most vulnerable in society are heard in decision-making. It is also responsive to the present and future needs of society.
Mo Ibrahim is the founder of Celtel International and one of Africa’s most successful business leaders. Originally from Sudan, Ibrahim is a global expert in mobile communications with a distinguished academic and business career.
The foundation traditionally confers an annual US$5million African leadership award to former prime ministers and presidents.
The prize committee, chaired by former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan, will later this month award the US$5 million to a president or premier who demonstrated excellence in leadership during their time in office.
The prize winner will in addition receive US$200 000 annually for life thereafter.
Former Botswana president, Festus Mogae won the record award last year while Mozambique’s second post conflict leader Joaquim Chissano became a laureate in 2007.
“The prize money is designed to work in conjunction with billions of dollars of development spending, foreign investment and national resources. If a country is well governed this means there will be a significant increase in the effectiveness and impact of all funds in the country,” the foundation said.
Paul Nyakazeya/Bernard Mpofu