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Less improvement in Eswatini’s overall governance- Ibrahim Index

By Ntombi Mhlongo

The Kingdom of Eswatini has been listed among countries that are mid-ranking when it comes to governance.

This is according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) 2022 which was released on Wednesday. The report states that Egypt (27th), Gabon (27th), and Eswatini (35th) are mid-ranking when it comes to Overall Governance but rank very highly when it comes to GDP per capita.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance annually measures the quality of governance in 54 African countries by compiling statistical data from the previous year.

The report states that despite having registered slight progress (1.1 points) in the decade 2012 to 2021, the improvement that the IIAG had been registering since 2014 has stagnated since 2019.

The slowdown, which coincides with the period of the Covid-19 pandemic, is mainly due to the increase in armed conflicts, repression of civilians, and democratic setbacks in general, which have caused deteriorations in terms of security, respect for the rule of law, participation, and civil rights.

“These setbacks have undone advances such as more economic opportunities and improved human development, particularly in access to health care,” it is highlighted in the report.

In terms of Portuguese-speaking African countries, the report states that Angola has made the most progress in the IIAG, while Guinea-Bissau performed worst.

Angola moved up three spots from the 2020 report and now ranks 40th position, with signs of increasing progress. The country continues to grow in the categories ‘Security and Rule of Law’, ‘Participation, Rights and Inclusion’, ‘Foundations for Economic Opportunities’, and ‘Human Development’, but still shows no signs of improvements in Overall Governance.

In the overall analysis, the report highlights that nearly two-thirds (35) of African countries – hosting 53.3 per cent of the continent’s population – have improved in Overall Governance over the decade.

However, less than half (15) of those – hosting 29.7 per cent of the continent’s population – have been able to progress in the latest five years at a faster pace.

“Worryingly, eight countries – Burkina Faso, Eswatini, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Madagascar, Namibia, and Rwanda – have reverted to a negative trajectory or halted progress completely, registering warning signs,” it is mentioned.

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