By Raymond Baguma
Uganda and other African countries have made a marked improvement in governance in the last decade, according to this year’s Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance released on Monday.
Among the East African Community countries, Uganda is in second position after Tanzania. Overall, Uganda was ranked 19th out of the 52 African countries.
The index is published by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which was established by the London-based Sudanese telecom tycoon, Mo Ibrahim, to promote good governance in Africa. It has become one of the standard tools for auditing governance in Africa.
This year’s index examined governance with 88 indicators in the four categories of safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development. The index showed improvement in governance.
However, there was a decline in some of Africa’s powerhouses such as Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and South Africa.
Out of the total score of 100 points, Uganda got 55.1 in governance and was ranked in position 19.
Uganda’s score was above the regional average of 47 and the continental average of 51%.
This was ahead of Kenya which scored 52.7% and was ranked 25th. Burundi scored 44.9 and was ranked 36th. Rwanda was in the 23rd position after scoring 53.5.
The index showed that Tanzania had made tremendous improvements since the launch of the index. It was ranked 10th overall in governance with a score of 58.8.
The top five included Mauritius which topped with a score of 82.8 out of 100, followed by Cape Verde (78.4), Botswana (77.2), Seychelles (73.4) and South Africa (70.7).
At the bottom was Somalia (7.2) while Democratic Republic Congo (32.8) was in the 51st position, Chad (32.8) in the 50th position, Eritrea (33) in the 49th and Central African Republic (33.7) in the 48th position.
In the human development category, Uganda scored 58 out of 100 while in the sustainable economic opportunity category, it got 51.
In the sub-categories, the country’s highest score was in gender where it came 9th and public management, where it was 36th overall.
Rwanda was one of the countries that had recorded improvement in governance, alongside Democratic Republic of Congo between 2000 and 2011.
A comparison of the continent’s regions in overall governance, safety, rule of law and sustainable economic opportunity categories put East Africa in the fourth position out of the five regions.
However, in the categories of participation and human rights, and human development, East Africa was the third.
East Africa’s performance in this year’s index was below the continental average.
However, gender and rural sector were the only sub-categories in which East Africa ranked above the continental average. The region is also ranked bottom in national security and public management.
The Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership, which is the world’s biggest individual prize to former African leaders, went unclaimed for a third time in four years.
Only democratically-elected African leaders who have peacefully served their term of office over the last three years are eligible for the annual award which is worth $5m paid over 10 years and thereafter $200,000 annually for life.
Previous prize winners have been former presidents Joacquim Chissano of Mozambique, Festus Mogae of Botswana and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde.