By Wezi Tjaronda
Namibia is among the top 10 performers in an index that measured how well sub-Saharan African countries are governed.
The 2007 Ibrahim Index of African Governance released on Monday, which used data of 2005, placed Namibia at number seven in the index that ranked all 48 sub-Saharan African countries.
Mauritius tops the list followed by the Seychelles, Botswana, Cape Verde, South Africa, Gabon and then Namibia. The other three that form part of the top 10 are Ghana, Senegal, and Sao Tome and Principe.
These countries also did well in the years 2000 and 2002 even though some of their positions have slightly changed.
Namibia’s position declined slightly though, having gone two ranks down from number five in 2000 and 2002 to number seven in 2005.
Five categories – safety and security, rule of law; transparency and corruption; participation and human rights; sustainable economic opportunity; and human development – are benchmarks that the index uses to measure the performance of any government.
Namibia together with Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius, South Africa and the Seychelles rank among the top six in the sustainable economic opportunity category across all the three years.
In the Human Development category, the five top performers include Seychelles, Mauritius, Cape Verde, South Africa, and Botswana, followed by Ghana, Kenya and Gabon.
Namibia does not feature prominently in the human rights category in which the top performers are Mauritius, South Africa, Sao Tome and Principe, the Seychelles and Botswana.
“By comparison, in 2000 the top countries were South Africa, Benin, Namibia, Mauritius, Madagascar, the Seychelles and Botswana, while Sudan, the DRC, Somalia and Burundi were at the bottom,” said the index.
The index was created to give a more objective and quantifiable method of measuring governance in the 48 countries of sub-Saharan Africa.
The Ibrahim Index provides both a new definition of governance and a comprehensive set of governance measures. Based on the five categories of essential political goods, each country is assessed against 58 individual measures.
These five categories of political goods represent the performance of any government, at any level.
The ultimate goal of the Index and the efforts of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation and the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University are to strengthen governance in Africa in order to improve the lives of Africans.