05 October 2010

Trend: Africa healthier, wealthier and undemocratic

Clare Byrne, writing for the South African Press Association (SAPA) and the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa), is credited with an article, "Africa healthier, wealthier and undemocratic", published on 4 October 2010 on the South African "NewsTime" website.

The full text of the article can be read free of charge here:


Excerpts: "Africans are becoming healthier and getting more opportunities to generate wealth. But five decades after most Africans first got a vote, democracy on the continent is ailing, an index of African governance showed Monday. The 2010 Ibrahim Index of African [G]overnance found that access to economic opportunities had improved in 41 out of 53 African countries between 2004/2005 and 2008/2009. In human development terms, Africa had also made strides, with 44 countries showing improvements, particularly in health and social welfare. Yet, despite the economic and social progress, 35 countries had suffered declines in safety and the rule of law, the index showed. There was also bad news in the area of human rights and citizen participation in the political progress, which had worsened in about two-thirds of African countries.

"The index – the first of its kind in Africa – was launched in 2007 by Mo Ibrahim, the multimillionaire Sudanese founder of Celtel, one of Africa's largest mobile phone networks. [...] Eritrea, Guinea, Madagascar, Mauritania and Somalia had fallen the furthest. All five were beset by armed conflicts or coups during the review period. Elsewhere, the lack of citizen oversight also meant most governments were not being held to account, the index showed. 'We see the challenge of consolidating democracy and extending it,' [Mo Ibrahim Foundation board member Mamphele] Ramphele, a former managing director of the World Bank said. 'Many citizens on our continent are not active,' she said. At the same time as he launched the index, Mo Ibrahim, a vocal campaigner against corruption, also launched a prize for excellence in African leadership worth over 5 million dollars. The prize has not been awarded in the past two years, after no suitable candidates were found."

The full results of the 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance are to be found here:


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