Despite democracy, safety and rule of law deteriorate in Ghana – 2016 Ibrahim Index

independence-arch-ghanaThe Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) was released Monday October 3, 2016, and the verdict on the continent is an unpleasant one, there has been deterioration in safety and rule of law across the 54 countries, and Ghana, once the darling of the West for democracy and rule of law is no exception.

Overall, Ghana, which has been practising democracy since 1992, after a turbulent almost two decades of military rule, is the eighth most deteriorated country over 10 years.

According to the Index, even though, there has been improvement in overall governance in Africa over the past ten years, the continent has been held back by a widespread deterioration in the category of Safety & Rule of Law.

In a press release issued in London and copied to, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation notes that the tenth edition of the IIAG, the most comprehensive analysis of African governance undertaken to date, brings together a decade of data to assess each of Africa’s 54 countries against 95 indicators drawn from 34 independent sources.

“This year, for the first time, the IIAG includes Public Attitude Survey data from Afrobarometer. This captures Africans’ own perceptions of governance, which provide fresh perspective on the results registered by other data such expert assessment and official data,” it said.

The Index found that over the last decade, overall governance has improved by one score point at the continental average level, with 37 countries – home to 70 per cent of African citizens – registering progress.

“This overall positive trend has been led mainly by improvement in Human Development and Participation & Human Rights. Sustainable Economic Opportunity also registered an improvement, but at a slower pace,” it added, noting that, however, these positive trends stand in contrast to a pronounced and concerning drop in Safety & Rule of Law, for which 33 out of the 54 African countries – home to almost two-thirds of the continent’s population – have experienced a decline since 2006, 15 of them quite substantially.

The Index indicates that this worrying trend has worsened recently, with almost half of the countries on the continent recording their worst score ever in this category within the last three years.

“This is driven by large deteriorations in the sub-categories of Personal Safety and National Security. Notably, Accountability is now the lowest scoring sub-category of the whole Index. Without exception, all countries that have deteriorated at the Overall Governance level have also deteriorated in Safety & Rule of Law,” it said.

Ghana’s position hasn’t changed much. In the last edition Ghana ranked 7th out of 54 countries.

In the 2016 edition, Ghana still ranks 7th out of 54 countries in Overall Governance with a score of 63.9 out of 100. The country’s score has fallen by -2.1 points over the last ten years.

“Ghana has improved by +46.6 points in the Digital & IT Infrastructure indicator over the course of the decade. Although Ghana is one of the top ten performers in Overall Governance in 2015, it is also the eighth most deteriorated over the course of the decade,” the Index found.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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