Mo Ibrahim index |06 February 2023
Seychelles second in overall governance
By Laura Pillay
The Seychelles ranks second and has improved in Overall Governance over the past decade, according to the 2022 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG).
The report, which is published every two years, was released last week and ranks Seychelles behind Mauritius, who although still ranking first in the same category, has deteriorated since 2012, to obtain its lowest score ever at 74.9.
Seychelles’ score for overall governance is 73.4.
Interestingly, some of the countries with the highest Overall governance scores in 2021 are among those with the highest nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita on the continent, including Botswana, South Africa and Namibia. The report states Seychelles GDP per capita at USD ($) 14,861.25.
Seychelles is classified as having made increasing improvements across the different underlying sub-categories, namely, foundations for economic opportunity, human development, participation, rights and inclusion, as well as security and rule of law.
In fact, Seychelles is among the top ten countries, in seventh position in terms of security and rule of law category, behind Angola, Malawi, Rwanda and others. As per the report, Seychelles has made the largest improvement as compared to its counterparts, with an 11.9 change in its score from 2012 to 2021.
Meanwhile, neighbouring Mauritius increasingly deteriorated in three sub-categories, including foundations for economic opportunity, security and rule of law, and participation, rights and inclusion.
While a number of countries on the continent have seen a wave of backsliding, with governments infringing on rights, curbing on freedom of expression and association as imposing restrictions on civic space since 2018, Seychelles and Gambia are bucking the continental trend.
The Seychelles islands have gone from being ranked fifth in 2012, to reaching first in 2021 in terms of participation, rights and inclusion scores, primarily driven by progress in the participation sub-category, with “more free and fair elections and greater freedom of association and assembly”, the report states.
Furthermore, in terms of having the foundations for economic opportunity, one of the key findings is that Africa lags behind all world regions in energy access, with Seychelles being the only country on the continents whereby citizens have access to clean cooking fuels. In 40 out of 53 African counties, most of the population lack access to clean cooking and roughly 600 million still lack access to electricity.
Despite improvements, only four African countries are on track to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7 to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all, including Seychelles, Egypt, Algeria and Tunisia.
As for the human development sub-category, Seychelles also ranks first, ahead of Mauritius and other counterparts. This category measures progress in terms of public services, such as health and education. This has improved across the board over the past decade, with more than 90 percent of Africa’s population living in a country where such services are better in 2021 and 2012.
On one hand, improvements in health care and social protections have accelerated across the continent since 2019, while education systems have performed more poorly over the same time period.
Generally, Africa’s Overall Governance score has flatlined since 2019, and in 2021, a significant proportion of Africa is less safe, secure and democratic than in 2012. However, Overall governance is still better in 2021 than in 2012.
The IIAG is a comprehensive dataset measuring African governance performance. It constitutes a framework for citizens, governments, institutions, academics and business to assess the delivery of public goods and services, and policy outcomes across the continent.