Locally done studies have found the recently released Mo Ibrahim Index on Good Governance wanting-and not indicative of what the real facts on the ground ought to be.
A statement issued by the Government in response to the country’s poor ranking in 3 Sub-Sub Categories (SSC) of the index accuses the authors of the index of deliberately ignoring locally conducted-but credible studies before ranking the country.
The Index released earlier this month ranks Rwanda twice second last and last in the Sub-Sub Categories of Human Development, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Rule of law, transparency and corruption.
The 9-page response authored by Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the Executive Secretary of the Rwanda Governance Advisory Council, Yusuf Murango and Dr. Mohammed Alibata of the National Institute of Statistics, indicates that the results of the index do not reflect poor performance on the ground as suggested.
“They don’t only match up, but also some times their difference is very big. And in almost all the cases, the index values are lower than local values,” the Government response states.
The authors of the Government report also wonder why the Addis Ababa-based foundation went on to rank Rwanda poorly in the 3 Sub-sub categories despite an earlier recommendation that local data sources be relied upon.
At the beginning of this year, a workshop on the Mo Ibrahim Index was held in Kigali and the authors of the annual index admitted data discrepancies-citing the use of old data as one of them, thereby agreeing to be consulting local sources.
However, according to government, there was no effort at all to use some of the latest data collected and certified by different government bodies responsible for research and data collection during this year’s ranking, hence the credibility of the findings of the index questioned.
According to local studies, results of index found similar or close to local data are mainly values of SSC of the category of safety and security.
A study commissioned by the Regional Centre on Small Arms (RECSA) has shown 96 percent and 94 percent respectively of Civil Society (CSO) and the General Public (GP) declare high level of trust and satisfaction about security organs and their effectiveness in providing security to citizens.
The comparison also reveals that in the categories affected by data discrepancies, some SSC’s values match up with local sources.
However overwhelming data discrepancies are cited in the annual GDP per capita growth where the Index for African Governance gives Rwanda a score of 2.74 while values from the national source put it at 14.6, a difference of almost 12%.
In the Human Development category the index gives Rwanda a score of 45.6 for Life Expectancy at birth and the national figure stands at 51 while child mortality per 1000 scores 167.1 in the index but national values are at 152.
“In our view, although there might be slight differences in how some of the indicators are calculated locally versus in the index, the data discrepancy (data source) can explain poor scores for Rwanda in some categories of the Index of African Governance.”
“It is quite evident that if the index used these updated local data, the score of Rwanda on this category could have significantly improved and her overall score as well,” the Government report reads.
Also contested is category of the Rule of Law, Transparency and Corruption which the report says it was an oversight to merge the them as they are major components of governance, suggesting that they would rather have been split into two-with the Rule of Law on One hand and Corruption and Transparency on the other.
Meanwhile, President Paul Kagame last week questioned the credibility of the index, which he says would have been of great value if its authors took the real values of what is on the ground and not engage in non-issues.