Rwanda among Africa's most improved in governance index

Rwanda is among the six African nations that have improved remarkably in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2015 report.
Pupils during lessons in a class at L'Educateur school in Rusizi District. (File)
Pupils during lessons in a class at L'Educateur school in Rusizi District. (File)

Rwanda is among the six African nations that have improved remarkably in the Ibrahim Index of African Governance 2015 report.

The report, released yesterday, is published annually to provide a comprehensive assessment of governance for the 54 African nations.

The authors of the report used more than 90 indicators (from over 30 independent global data institutions) which fall in four categories; safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunities, and human development. 

Overall, Rwanda was placed in the 11th position.

The report noted that Rwanda, alongside Ivory Coast, Morocco, Senegal, Somalia and Zimbabwe improved remarkably in all of the four indexes.

The progress by Rwanda and the five other countries was deemed significant considering that, over the last four years, governance progress in the continent was deemed to have stalled and deteriorated in other aspects.

In the region, Kenya came second, in 14th position in the the continent.

The report listed Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana as the top three nations, but noted that they all exhibit a decline in overall governance in at least two of the four components over the last four years.

Central African Republic, South Sudan and Somalia come at the bottom of the list. It is notable that the three countries have been experiencing civil conflict related to leadership in the last two years. 

Fruits of deliberate programmes

Governance experts say Rwanda’s progress under the various indicators is due to the multiple programmes the government has put in place to ensure improvement of welfare of citizens.

Reacting to the report, Dr Félicien Usengumukiza, the head of governance, research and monitoring department at the Rwanda Governance Board, said the progress in indicators such as sustainable economic opportunities were a result of sustained efforts to improve the investment climate for small and medium enterprises.

“The investment climate is now conducive for small and medium enterprises which, in turn, led to positive performance in the indicator,” he said

Usengumukiza said by laying emphasis on provision of education through 12 year basic education and healthcare provision, the country had in turn fared well in human development.

“As part of the build up efforts towards the achievement of the goals in the Second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS II), several programmes and initiatives have been set up. It is because of such programmes that the country fairs well in various global indexes,” Usengumukiza said.

He noted that it was in the same light that the country was able to reach and surpass targets set out in the just-concluded Millennium Development Goals process.

Usengumukiza predicted that the progress and commendation was likely to continue in coming days as initiatives were continuous.

However, he said, much debatable was the ranking of the country in participation and human rights areas where Rwanda was listed in the 47th position.

He said the ranking was not satisfactory considering that Rwandans were actively engaged in matters of governance.

 

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