Malawians’ satisfaction with governance has declined since 2012 – Report


President Lazarus Chakwera and Vice President Saulos Chilima

Malawians’ satisfaction with governance has deteriorated since 2012, according to the Ibrahim Index of African Governance.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation tracks leadership and democracy on the continent through the Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) and the organisation launched the 2022 edition of the index on Wednesday.

It shows that public perception of overall governance has declined from a score of 62.7 percent in 2012 to 48 percent in 2021.

However, with a score of 54.6 out of 100, Malawi ranks 18th out of 54 African countries in overall governance in 2021.

“Malawi’s overall governance score has improved over the last decade (2012-2021) and has done so at an accelerated pace over the most recent five years (2017-2021),” the report says.

The country has also  improved in 12 out of 16 sub-categories since 2012. It has improved in all sub-categories of the Security & Rule of Law which includes absence of armed conflict and subcategories of Human Development which include maternal health, access to healthcare and access to water.

“Malawi scores above the continental average for 50 of the 81 indicators. Malawi received the highest possible score of 100.0 for three indicators. Malawi improved in 47 out of the 81 indicators across the IIAG since 2012 and declined in 31. No change was registered in three indicators,” the report says.

On the African continent, the report said there has been marginal improvement in overall governance in Africa since 2012 but the trend has flatlined since 2019.

It adds that improvements in human development and economic foundations are undermined by an increasingly perilous security situation and widespread democratic  backsliding – as the continent struggles to manage the combined impacts of global challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic and the climate crisis.

“35 out of 54 African countries have experienced an improvement [in governance score] since 2012 but only 15 of them have managed to accelerate progress over the past five years (2017-2021). More concerningly, 22 countries have seen their score decrease in that latest period,” reads part of the report.

The report has since called for more action to address democratic backsliding and growing insecurity to avoid reversing several years of governance progress.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation which is owned by Sudanese-British billionaire Mo Ibrahim established the index in 2007. A new IIAG dataset is released every two years.

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