Ibrahim Index of African Governance
September 25, 2007
Authors: Robert Rotberg, Director, Program on Intrastate Conflict and Conflict Resolution, Rachel Gisselquist, Former Research Director (2007-2009), Index of African Governance
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Intrastate Conflict Program
Mo Ibrahim Foundation launches world's most comprehensive ranking of African governance
New index to shine a light on governance and provide a valuable tool for holding governments to account.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is today publishing an innovative new ranking of governance quality in sub-Saharan Africa. Developed under the direction of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, with the help of an advisory council of African academics, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance assesses sub-Saharan Africa's 48 nation states against a comprehensive new index of governance indicators.
The Ibrahim Index provides both a new definition of governance, as well as a comprehensive set of governance measures. Based on five categories of essential political goods, each country is assessed against 58 individual measures, capturing clear, objective outcomes. To be published annually, the Index records the performance of countries in 2000, 2002 and 2005, offering a report card on the accomplishments of each country.
The founder and Chairman of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, says:
"We are shining a light on governance in Africa, and in so doing we are making a unique contribution to improving the quality of governance. The Ibrahim Index is a tool to hold governments to account and frame the debate about how we are governed. Africans are setting benchmarks not only for their own continent, but for the world."
Key features of the Ibrahim Index include:
o Comprehensiveness - the large number of measures included in the Ibrahim Index makes it one of the most comprehensive assessments of the governance in sub-Saharan African ever undertaken.
o Focus on political goods - the Ibrahim Index uniquely defines governance as the delivery of key political goods, capturing defined, measurable outcomes rather than subjective assessments.
o Geographical coverage - the Ibrahim Index examines all 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa for three years (and hereafter annually), making it among the most complete and up-to-date indexes ever compiled.
o Ranking - The Ibrahim Index is the first such attempt to explicitly rank sub-Saharan African countries according to governance quality.
o Progressiveness - the Ibrahim Index will be expanded and refined on an annual basis, offering a continually improving assessment of governance.
The full data set is being presented as a fully interactive tool on the Mo Ibrahim Foundation website - www.moibrahimfoundation.org
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