Signs of better governance in West Africa

According to the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), governance in Africa has overall slightly improved over the past decade but the security situation has clearly become worse: two out of three Africans live in a country where safety and the rule of law deteriorated over the past ten years. This is particularly the case in Guinea-Bissau, Nigeria and Chad. As regards the overall governance performance of West African countries, Cabo Verde is among the three highest scoring countries, followed by Ghana (ranked 7) and Senegal (ranked 10). Despite improvements in almost all West African countries, several fall below the African average (score 50) including Sierra Leone, Togo, Gambia, Nigeria, Mauritania, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau and Chad. While Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Liberia  and Niger are among the greatest improvers at the overall governance level, Ghana, Mauritania, Gambia and Mali recorded a deterioration in governance over the past decade. Overall, the ECOWAS area is the second best-performing African region, after southern Africa, having recorded the largest increase in its average score (52.4) for overall governance. It is also the most improved region with regards to human development (+4.3) and sustainable economic opportunity (+3.6), with Niger (+10.8), Togo (+10.6) and Côte d’Ivoire (+8.7) recording significant advances. IIAG is a comprehensive continent-wide collection of data on African governance and covers 4 categories, 95 indicators and 4 different data sources. During the launching ceremony, Mo Ibrahim recalled the importance of focusing on the entire African continent and not just on sub-Saharan Africa: “Africa is not a country. It is 54 unique countries. Each country has an individual story”, he declared while adding: “Everybody needs good governance, not only Africa.“