By Karen Dabrowska
The sixth Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), released in October reveals that when it compiled the index, from 2000 - 2011 Libya, that is, 10 years under the dictatorial regime of Muammar Gaddafi, and during last year's conflict, it was one of the six most 'imbalanced' countries in Africa.
The 2012 IIAG provides full details of Libya's performance across four categories of governance: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development. Libya's 'imbalance' is due to its poorer performance in the categories of Safety & Rule of Law and Participation & Human Rights.
Libya came sixth out of six countries in North Africa in the 2012 IIAG, and 38th out of 52 overall. But data used in the compilation of the 2012 IIAG are from 2000 – 2011 and do not capture any possible progress in post-Arab Spring countries.
The IIAG stated that:
- Libya scored 44 (out of 100) for overall governance.
- Libya scored lower than the regional average for North Africa which is 54.
- Libya scored lower than the continental average which is 51.
- Libya received its highest score in the Human Development category (85) and its lowest score in the Participation & Human Rights category (23).
- At sub-category level Libya's highest rank is in Education and Health (2nd) and lowest is in Participation (51st).
- Between 2000 and 2011 Libya's overall governance score deteriorated.
Established in 2007, the IIAG is a collection of quantitative data that provides an annual assessment of governance in every African country, with the exception of the Republic of Sudan and the Republic of South Sudan for which there are insufficient disaggregated data.
Compiled in partnership with experts from a number of African institutions, the IIAG provides a framework for citizens, public authorities and partners to assess the effective delivery of public goods and services. The IIAG provides a tool for current and future leadership and for all stakeholders to robustly assess policy outcomes.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) which compiled the index (MIF) invests in governance and leadership to catalyse Africa's transformation. By providing tools and advocating for progressive leadership and responsible management, the Foundation works to bring about meaningful change in Africa.
The Foundation focuses on promoting a data-driven and results orientated approach to policy-making and on bringing together diverse stakeholders to improve the quality of governance in Africa.
The findings of the index clearly illustrate the tyrannical nature of Gaddafi’s regime.
James Woods, a communications officer at the MIF, pointed out that the central objective of the Arab Spring was to usher in a period of greater freedoms, improved standards of living and more accountability in government. These are fundamental to good governance and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation hopes that this core objective of the revolution will be realised in Libya and all other countries in the region.
“It is important to note that data used in the compilation of the 2012 IIAG are from 2000 – 2011 and do not capture any possible progress in post-Arab Spring countries,” Woods told The Tripoli Post. “The findings should serve not only as a reminder of where things were prior to the 2011 revolution but also as a dashboard for both government and citizens on what needs fixing.
“It is addressing the areas of perceived weakness that the data change and countries move up or down the Index.”
Jason Pack, president of Libya-Analysis.com, was sceptical of some of the findings of the Index and commented that the data that make up the health score (maternal and child mortality, some basic immunisations, treatment of some diseases) only look at a certain basic standard of health, and gives Libya a surprisingly high health score of 98/100.
By most accounts, Libya requires expansion to existing healthcare facilities, the building of new facilities, and improvements in the quality of healthcare.
When asked by The Tripoli Post what the Libyan government could do to achieve a better rating next year Mr Pack replied that Libya has much potential, provided that security is achieved; other reform areas hinge upon this key principle.
“Libya still needs to make improvements in disarming and demobilising the brigades to build effective government security forces that are able to uphold and protect the rule of law. The current government needs to work to prevent the kind of corruption that flourished in the Gaddafi era and continued into the NTC period in certain instances in the absence of accountability.
“They should also work on improving public management. Once safety and the rule of law are achieved, then major improvements in sustainable economic opportunity through infrastructure improvements and a better business environment are possible.”
Professor George Joffe a Deputy Director and a Professorial Research Fellow at the Global Policy Institute does not think that ratings such as the IIAG are useful. “They say nothing about the specificities of a country and don't aid at all in understanding why the situation is as it is.”
He goes on to say: “The Libya rating reflects the sequel of the Gaddafi era and the dreadful security situation. It gives no indication at all of the Libyan success in avoiding a civil war or of beginning, however badly, the reconstruction of a state or, indeed, why this should have been so when most observers anticipated its collapse.
“As for the future? Well, the ratings say nothing about that; nor can they. So why do we waste our time with them? Because they are brief, implicitly allocate blame and fit in with the abbreviated culture fed by the internet? Probably.”