Ibrahim Index: Overall gains for Uganda, but declines in corruption and public governance

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation released its tenth Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), which measures governance in Africa, on Monday. The main takeaway from this year’s report is that deteriorating trends in the Safety and Rule of Law category have held back governance on the continent over the last decade.

Uganda has improved in overall governance since 2006, increasing its score by 3.4 points. It’s No.19 in Africa in 2015 out of 54 nations with a score of 56.2. Uganda is also one of 19 countries that improved in the safety and rule of law category over the last ten years, gaining 4.3 points. The category is the most problematic across the continent, according to the foundation, so much that countries which registered declines on overall governance also registered declines in safety and rule of law.

Uganda posted improvements in two of the four sub-categories in the safety and rule of law category, and declined in the rest over the last decade. It progressed by 3.1 points in the personal safety category, the indicator in which most countries performed poorly, the average decline coming in at 5.7 points. Its strongest gains were in national security, adding 29.8 points while the African average was a fall of 4.1. Uganda actually had the highest improvement in the national security sub category, followed by Liberia (29.0).

It’s in the accountability and rule of law categories under safety and rule of law in which Uganda registered declines. Accountability focuses on measuring aspects of corruption; Uganda’s score in the category fell by 4.4 points over the last ten years – the African average was -1.0. While most African countries posted improvements in rule of law, Uganda posted its largest reversal in the sub-category, declining by 11.4 points. The African average is a fall of 0.3.

In participation and human rights, Uganda improved by 4.1 points in the last ten years, higher than Africa’s average of 2.4. Positive trends were registered in the sub-categories of participation and gender, while the score for rights went down.

Uganda’s performance in the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance
Category/Sub-Category Score (../100) 10-year Change
2015 Africa Average
19 Overall 56.2 50.0 3.4
22 Safety & Rule of Law 57.3 52.1 4.3
18 Rule of Law 58.2 52.7 -11.4
32 Accountability 31.1 35.1 -4.4
12 Personal Safety 57.8 45.7 3.1
26 National Security 82 75.2 29.8
19 Participation & Human Rights 59.6 50.0 4.1
28 Participation 49.5 47.9 6.1
23 Rights 51.9 46.8 -3.8
2 Gender 77.4 55.4 10.0
14 Sustainable Economic Opportunity 49.1 42.9 0.9
23 Public Management 44.8 42.2 -3.8
9 Business Environment 54.4 39.7 6.3
27 Infrastructure 37.1 39.1 13.2
15 Rural Sector 60.0 51.5 -12.1
18 Human Development 58.9 55.0 4.2
12 Welfare 59.7 47.4 3.8
26 Education 47.2 47.9 2.4
27 Health 69.7 69.6 6.3

Uganda leads in gains in electricity infrastructure with 26.3 points against an African average of -0.4 points. The index measures the reliability of electricity supply and perceptions citizens hold of their government’s handling of providing a reliable electricity supply. The foundation draws attention to the index, which it says is holding back progress in infrastructure and, according to its chair, Mo Ibrahim, “could hold back further progress in sustainable economic opportunity, as well as in human development.”