By Julius T. Jaesen, II
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation has released its 2020 Ibrahim Index of African governance report reflecting the overall state of governance in Africa for the year 2019. The Mo Ibrahim Foundation over the last decade has surveyed the overall state of governance in 54 African states.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation defines governance as the provision of political, social, economic and environmental public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from their government, and that a government has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. Published since 2007, the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) assesses governance performance in 54 African countries over the latest available ten-year period. It provides a framework and dashboard for any interested audience to assess the delivery of public goods and services and public policy outcomes in African countries.
The Report year-on-year has always captured four thematic areas ranging from Participation, Rights and Inclusion to Security and Rule of Law, Human Development and Foundations for Economic Opportunity. The 2020 report reveals that most African states over the last decade had achieved some progress in the areas of Human Development and Foundations for Economic Opportunity, but however, Security & Rule of Law, and Participation, Rights & Inclusion have stalled
The report further noted what it is true that majority of countries in Africa have improved over the last decade, however, almost half registered a decline in 2019. The reported pointed out that of all the 54 countries surveyed; only eight countries have improved in all the four categories over the last ten years.
In the category of Participation, Rights and Inclusion, the report noted that while it is true that this category has shown decline over the last decade, but the trends differ from 2015 onwards as more than half the countries follow a path of increasing deterioration from 2015 to 2019. Under category one, the report named participation as the most declined of the IIAG’s 16 subcategories since 2015, follow by Rights: the second most declined. As for Inclusion & Equality and Gender the report shows that they are bouncing back in the last five within a decade of decline.
The 2020 Mo Ibrahim Index Report has revealed that Security & Rule of Law continues to deteriorate over the last decade but with slower rate of deterioration since 2015. As for category three, Human Development, most African countries slowing in improvement since 2015 and first ever year-on-year decline mirror the trajectory of overall governance in 2019. Moreover, the report noted that most countries are deteriorating in the area of social protection but showing slow improvement in health and education. The report considers health as the second highest scoring in 2019 and second most improved IIAG sub-category over the decade, but progress has slowed since 2015. As for education, the pointed that progress has marginally slowed since 2015.
Meanwhile, under Foundations for Economic Opportunity, IIAG report has classified this to be the most improved category since 2010. Also, the report further stated that all sub-categories under foundations for economic opportunity have improved over the decade with the largest progress in infrastructure. However, the report also noted that Infrastructure though still low scoring in 2019, yet it remains the best trending IIAG sub-category over the decade. While Business Environment enables better access to financial services drives progress. On the other hand, the report categorized Public Administration as almost at decline as 31 countries have shown signs of deterioration since 2015. According to the report, Rural Sector was the best scoring sub-category in Foundations for Economic Opportunity.
According the Mo Ibrahim report, Liberia made zero overall change in governance ranking under Weah. Of the four categories the Mo Foundation surveyed, the government of President Weah dirty Liberia’s governance scorecard so badly in two categories when compared with the other two categories. The two categories in which Liberia’s performance was dismal and abysmal include participation, rights and inclusion & in the area of security and the rule of law. Prior to former Pres. Sirlef’s exit of the presidency, Liberia overall governance was at 51.6 percent while under Weah, our overall governance score declined to 47.9 percent. The survey of 2017 year only shows that Liberia’s overall governance scorecard under Ellen improved by +4.8 percent placing Liberia then in green which represents increasing improvement whilst Pres. Weah puts it at +1.2 percent in 2019 showing decline of +3.6 percent. For this the Mo Ibrahim puts overall governance in Liberia in pink which represents a strong warning sign.
PARTICIPATION, RIGHTS & INCLUSION
Under participation, rights and inclusion, Liberia’s average score over the last decade (2010-2019) is 54.9 percent out of 100. Liberia’s score of 54.9 out of 100 dates back from the administration of erstwhile Pres. Ellen Johnson-Sirelaf to the two years into Weah’s administration. According to the recent report released by Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the government of President Weah miserably failed in improving in the category of participation, rights and inclusion in the first two years of its administration. Prior to the exit of former president Sirleaf according the Mo Ibrahim Foundation report which was released in 2018 accounting for overall governance performance in the year 2017, Ellen left an overall score for Liberia in the category of participation, rights and inclusion at 60.3 percent from 2010-2017. In 2017 only, Liberia’s score in participation, rights and inclusion increased by +2.9 percent placing the country in green which the report said represented increasing improvement. But sadly under Weah, Liberia’s overall score in participation, rights and inclusion from 2010-2019 dropped from 60.3 percent in 2017 to 54.9 percent in 2019. The report shows that in two years in the current government, Liberia’s overall score in the area of participation, rights and inclusion dropped by +5.4.
SECURITY & RULE OF LAW
Under security and rule of law, the government of President Weah once again performance smells dismal and abysmal. The Mo Ibrahim report says that our overall score in security and rule of law from 2010-2019 deteriorated under Pres. Weah when compared to the overall score Liberia had before the political transition from the Unity Party led-administration to the CDC led-administration in January of 2018. From 2010 to the end of 2017, Liberia’s overall score in the category of security and rule of law was placed at 59.5 as compared to 54.9 from 2010-2019. The 2018 report said the government of former president Sirleaf made remarkabl progress in improving Liberia’s score in the category of security and rule of law. Just aside from 2016 score, Liberia made additional +5.3 percent point improvement in the category of security and rule of law.
CATEGORY III HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
In the category of human development which measure human development in terms of health, education, social protection and sustainable environment, Liberia scored an average of 44.3 percent which represents the country overall average from 2010-2019. According to the Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governance, this score represents a decline in average for Liberia under the last two years (2018-2019) of President George Weah. Prior to Ellen’s turning of the political baton to current Pres. Weah, Liberia overall average in the category of human development, was set at 47.0 percent as compared to an average score of 44.3 percent for overall governance in human development over the last decade.
CATEGORY IV FOUNDATIONS FOR ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY
The category foundations for economic opportunity take into consideration four thematic pillars which include public administration, business environment, infrastructure and rural sector. Under this category, Liberia overall average scored from 2010-2019 is 37.4 percent. This also according to the recent Mo Ibrahim Index Report amounts to a decline in Liberia’s overall score in the category of foundations for economic opportunity from 2010-2019. It is instructive to note that prior to Ellen’s exit of the nation’s presidency, Liberia overall score according to the 2018 report in the category of foundations for economic opportunity was placed at 39.4 percent compared to a score of 37.4 percent in 2019. According to the 2018 Mo Ibrahim report, Liberia’s average under the erstwhile government of former Pres. Johnson-Sirleaf increased by +5.8 percent in 2017 when compared to year 2016.
According to information gathered by the Parrot News, Liberia’s increasing deterioration under Pres. George Weah in the category of participation, rights & inclusion makes valid any claims that Weah’s administration is clamping down on freedom of association & assembly, civil society space, democratic elections, personal liberties, freedom of expression & belief, media freedom, digital rights, protection against discrimination, equal civil liberties, equal access to public services, political power & representation of women, absence socioeconomic opportunity for women, equal access to public services for women & laws on violence against women. No wonder why critical voices are being chased into exile. The Parrot has gathered that just in 2020 alone, Martin K.N. Kollie, a social justice advocate and former student’s leader at the state run university, the University of Liberia, and Parrot Associate Managing Editor, Julius T. Jaesen, II, were all chased into exile by the government of Pres. Weah for freedom of speech and expression.
Under security & the rule of law, the 2020 report noted that we’re showing warning signs. Executive compliance with the rule of law, Liberia under Weah is in red, which means we’re showing increased deterioration. Judicial processes account for poor improvement.
Liberia’s overall scorecard for accountability and transparency, the data shows that Weah’s government is shrouded in fiscal robberies, indiscipline, absence fiscal probity and looming malfeasances. Institutional checks & balances are rapidly deteriorating. Our scorecard in the area of anti-corruption shows dismal performance. The data placed Liberia under Weah in red, which means we’re increasingly deteriorating in the fight against corruption. No wonder why 25 million intended to mob up excess liquidity of Liberian dollars from the market varnished in thin air without any accountability and punitive measures taken against Weah economic management team that led the mop up exercise that was fraught with malfeasances, fiscal indiscipline and lack of probity.
Under human development in terms of education, we declined in 2019. Education quality, we experienced rapid deterioration. Education enrollment and education completion, we experienced increased deterioration. Liberia’s overall score in the area of social protection shows that we rapidly deteriorated. Under social protection in the areas of social safety nets and poverty reduction policies, we made little progress, particularly in poverty reduction policies. But disgustingly, in socioeconomic inequality mitigation and access to housing, Liberia experienced increased deterioration under the current government. Also, in the area of absence undernourishment, Liberia experienced increased deterioration.
Under foundations for economic opportunity, our overall performance shows that we didn’t perform remarkably when compared to our neighbouring countries. Here, we’re experiencing slow deterioration. Under public administration, Liberia is slowing in improvement. In the area of tax & revenue mobilisation, Liberia witnessed increased deterioration. In the area of professional administration, Liberia is experiencing rapid deterioration. Under budgetary & financial management, slow improvement but yet political pundits believe that it is ironically disturbing of the part of Finance Minister Samuel Tweah to be boast that Liberia is doing well.
Our overall scorecard in the area of Business Environment, Liberia is rapidly deteriorating. Under regional integration, the data shows warning signs for the West African nation, Liberia. For trade environment, Liberia rapidly deteriorated. Here we’re in red! Under business & competition regulation, Liberia is experiencing increasing deterioration. Under labour relations, rapid deterioration, whilst access to financial services we are slowing improvement.
Under infrastructure, in the area of the transportation network, we made zero change. Under access to energy, we made remarkable progress, showing increasing improvement. Under mobile communications & digital access, Liberia is experiencing slow improvement.
In the area of the rural sector, we’re showing warning signs, especially in rural market access & rural sector support. As for rural land & water access & rural businesses & organizations, we’re trying to bounce back.
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