Much of Africa less safe, secure, democratic than a decade ago — Governance Index

Much of Africa less safe, secure, democratic than a decade ago — Governance Index

Africa is “less safe, secure and democratic” than it was 10 years ago, says a new report on African governance released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on Wednesday, January 25, citing a surge in military coups and armed conflicts.

The democratic backsliding now threatens to reverse decades of progress made in Africa, according to an index of governance compiled by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation that notes 23 successful and attempted coups since 2012. “This phenomenon of coup d’état that was common in the ’80s seems to have become fashionable again in certain parts of Africa,” said Ibrahim, a British billionaire born in Sudan who is using his fortune to promote democracy and political accountability in Africa. His foundation’s report cited eight successful coups — most notably in Mali and neighboring Burkina Faso, two in each of these Sahel countries — just since 2019.

While many of the external shocks crippling the continent economically and socially in recent years were outside of Africans’ control, Ibrahim lamented in an interview ahead of the report’s release, what he called “an own goal”. “We did not cause climate change, but we are hit by it. We did not start the war in Ukraine, but we’re hit by that. We did not start Covid-19, but we get hit by that. Then we have bad governance. We’re responsible for it,” he said. This period has also witnessed worsening conflicts, particularly in West Africa’s Sahel region, and political instability.

But there have also been bright spots, according to data compiled by the foundation, which include major progress in infrastructure construction across the continent, improved equality for women, and advances in health, education and environmental sustainability since 2012.


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