Botswana is the continent’s third-best governed country, that is according to the latest Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) Index, which measures the quality of a wide variety of social and economic factors in African governance.
The Index evaluates African governance annually using a range of indicators in four categories namely safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development. The index suggests that despite Botswana scoring an impressive third ranking in the continent, getting an overall score of 74.2 out of 100, its performance still reflects deteriorating results since 2011. The data also indicates that Botswana, which is a top 5 regular in Ibrahim Index’s best governed African countries, lands in the ten most deteriorated on the continent between the years 2011 and 2014. The index also shows that Botswana recorded a decline of 1.8 points over the last four years.One of the key findings from the report about Botswana’s deterioration in governance includes the country’s performance in the Participation and Human rights category. This is the category in which Botswana showed the greatest decline. Ranking eighth out of 54 countries in this category with a 68.7 out of 100 score, Botswana shows an overall of 4.4 points decline since 2011.
Botswana ranked 19th in the gender sub-category which evaluates and measures countries’ performances in gender equality, gender balance in education, women’s participation in the labour force, legislation on violence against women and women in politics and the judiciary. There was a noticeable deterioration within the measures of women in senior public positions, women in the judiciary (-50.0) and women in politics (-11.2), as well as, to a lesser extent, in legislation on violence against women (-8.3).
Botswana’s performance in gender issues (between 2000 when the Index waslaunched) and 2007 shows more highs than lows.
The index further reveals that since the year 2008, the country has faced a dramatic and devastating drop with no signs of peaks. The extent to which the government promotes equal access for men and women to human capital development opportunities and productive and economic resources is another worrying factor. Performance in participation and human rights subjects is on a hamstring, a particularly painful admission for a country that is ranked the third best in overall governance in the continent. This impressive overall ranking consequently masks the small dark concerns beneath it.
The other decline came through the sustainable economic opportunity subcategory. This decline was driven by deteriorations in business environment (-4.7), infrastructure (-4.6) and the rural sector (-1.2). Lo and behold, the weather is not just overcast; one major take-away from the index is that Botswana’s score is exhilarating in categories of Human development and Rule of law. Botswana ranked third and first in both categories respectively. Botswana recorded a remarkable peak of 1.7 points since 2011 in the human development category. Overall in this category, the country shows a laudable performance in areas such as equity of public resource use, environmental policy, education system quality, secondary and tertiary school enrollment, access to sanitation, immunisation and antiretroviral treatment.
Rule of law and national security have been the country’s strongest points since 2000 and the current index signifies a constant result in the former and notable improvement in the latter. Elsewhere in the 2015 edition index, it shows that Southern Africa is the best performing region, with an average score of 58.9, followed by West Africa (52.4), North Africa (51.2) and East Africa (44.3). The index also includes South Sudan for the very first time and also cites Mauritius as the best-run country on the continent.