Mauritius scores highest in African governance survey

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) – Mauritius’ government and  private sector delivered the best services and public goods to  its citizens, ranking first in an African-wide governance survey  released today by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

The Indian Ocean island scored top in all four of the  survey’s main categories, beating Cape Verde and next best  Seychelles, with an average total score of 82.8 percent.

Fourth and fifth positions went to Botswana and Africa’s  strongest economy South Africa.

In its third year and for the first time including all 53  African countries, the 2009 Ibrahim Index of Governance measures  84 indicators — broadly categorised under safety and security;  participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity  and human development.

Released at the University of Cape Town, it showed the  Southern African region faring best on average with 58.1  percent, followed closely by North Africa at 57.7 percent.

The  worst performing region was central Africa, averaging 40.2  percent, with West Africa placed third at 51.7 and East Africa  fourth at 46.9.

The seven countries of central Africa, including Democratic  Republic of Congo and Equatorial Guinea, all ranked outside the  top 20, and with the exception of Gabon, performed below the  continent’s average score.

Anarchic Somalia, a haven for pirates launching attacks on  foreign ships and where an Islamist insurgency has helped  paralyse effective government, propped up the index with the  weakest total score of 15.2 percent.

It registered the continent’s lowest scores for economic  opportunity at 0.9 per cent, and 9.1 per cent for safety and rule  of law.

Just above in 52nd place was Chad, and next was Zimbabwe,  where the unity government of President Robert Mugabe and rival  Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai faces an uphill battle to  rebuild a ruined economy.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance was created to help  civil society track government performance in Africa. This year  it was compiled with the assistance of various institutions,  including Afrobarometer and the American University in Cairo.

Mo Ibrahim is a Sudanese-born telecommunications  entrepreneur.

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