Ibrahim Index gives SA bad mark
Following the recent downgrading of South Africa by both Standard & Poor's and Moody's, this country's governance was yesterday ranked as "unfavourable" by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
The foundation, which monitors development, released its sixth annual Ibrahim Index of African Governance.
It found that the continent's powerhouses - including Egypt, Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa - had shown discouraging governance performance in the past six years.
The countries were judged in four main categories: safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity, and human development.
Though South Africa's overall score matched last year's 71% , it has declined in the sustainable economic opportunity category.
The index found that:
- South Africa still scored higher than the Southern African average of 59, and the continental average of 51;
- The country's best performance was in the human development category (71), and its worst in sustainable economic opportunity (62); and
- South Africa was third on the list of 12 Southern African countries, and fifth of 52 countries overall.
Mo Ibrahim, chairman of the foundation, said: "Good governance is about harnessing a country's resources to achieve the results any citizen living in the 21st century has a right to expect.
"One of Africa's biggest leadership and governance challenges is to master its own robust statistical system. Political sovereignty begins with data autonomy."
Last week S&P lowered South Africa's long-term foreign currency sovereign credit rating to BBB from BBB+, in the belief that strikes in the mining sector would feed into the political debate ahead of the 2014 national elections.
The country's image has been damaged by the violent strikes, especially in Marikana, where 34 miners were shot and killed by the police.
In a damning commentary on leadership in Africa, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation announced that there would be no recipient of the 2012 Ibrahim prize for achievement in African leadership because no leaders had met the criteria.