African governments have failed to translate economic growth into improved sustainable economic opportunity for their citizens

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is a tool that measures and monitors governance performance in African countries.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation defines governance as the provision of the political, social and economic public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from their state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. In the IIAG, country performance in delivering governance is measured across four key components that effectively provide indicators of a country’s Overall Governance performance.

The key components that form the four categories of the IIAG as described in the diagram below are Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Each of these categories contain subcategories under which are organised various indicators that provide quantifiable measures of the overarching dimensions of governance. In total, the IIAG contains over 100 indicators.


Key findings

There has been virtually no progress in creating Sustainable Economic Opportunity, meaning it remains the Index’s worst performing and slowest improving category.

There is also no strong relationship between the size of a country’s economy and its performance in Sustainable Economic Opportunity. In 2017, four of the ten countries with the highest GDP on the continent still score below the African average score for Sustainable Economic Opportunity and sit in the lower half of the rankings


About IIAG

Published since 2007, the IIAG was created to provide a quantifiable tool to measure and monitor governance performance in African countries, to assess their progress over time and to support the development of effective and responsive policy solutions. The IIAG focuses on measuring outputs and outcomes of policy, rather than declarations of intent, de jure statutes and levels of expenditure.

The IIAG is an objective exercise, to help further the conversation on governance, to assess current and emerging trends, identify areas to improve, and to highlight and learn from success. It does not make policy prescriptions. It uses the same indicators for all countries in order to produce comparable scores, regardless of the size of their economies, population, geography or other external factors. These are of course important and must be assessed alongside the data, but the IIAG aims to provide an objective dataset. Crucially, indicators measure outcomes of policy, and not inputs.


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