THE Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), a tool that measures and monitors governance performance in African countries, has listed Zimbabwe as one of Africa’s four most improved countries over the past 10 years.
It is the brainchild of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which defines governance as the provision of political, social and economic public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from their State, and that a State has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens.
Zimbabwe, Kenya, Liberia and Rwanda are considered to be the “largest improvers” at the category level over the decade in Africa and the country is likely to register more gains with wide reforms being pursued by President Mnangagwa under the banner of the Second Republic.
According to the 2018 annual report, from 2008 to 2017, Zimbabwe posted significant improvements on: safety and the rule of law; increased GDP growth; enjoyed more reliable supply of electricity and improved conditions for foreign investments.
Additionally, Zimbabwe scored big in improved Antiretroviral Treatment (ART) Provision for sufferers of HIV, saw an increase in welfare policies and services, access to rural and water for agriculture as well as growth in participation of rural organisations.
There was also improved access to agricultural research and extension services as well as workplace gender equality, all of which carried scores of +50.0 and above. More gains were recorded in gender equality, budgetary and financial Management as well as rural business climate.
According to the report, Gender in Africa is also a positive story, having consistently improved its average score by a total of +4.5 points in the past decade, an increase of 9 percent compared to 2008.
“A total of 41 countries have progressed in this period, meaning that almost 90 percent of the continent’s population benefited from improved gender equality,” said IIAG.
Rwanda registered the largest improvements in this sub-category in the last 10 years, followed by Zimbabwe, Congo, Gabon and Burundi.
“The main drivers of Africa’s strong performance in gender equality are women’s political empowerment and gender parity in education,” notes the IIAG.
“However, there are still areas lagging behind, such as representation of women in the political space, gender equality in the workspace and the establishment of laws to tackle violence against women.”
The IIAG focuses on measuring outputs and outcomes of policy, rather than declarations of intent, de jure statutes and levels of expenditure, it says on its website.
In order to provide a broad, documented and impartial picture of governance performance in every African country, the indicators are collected from 35 independent sources and is updated yearly.
Zimbabwe is on the upward trajectory with President Mnangagwa leading a reform agenda that has seen the opening up of democratic space underscored by repeal of laws such as the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (Aippa) and Public Order and Security Act (Posa).
There is ongoing realignment of laws to the Constitution adopted in 2013 which is hailed largely for its expansive provision and protection of civil and political rights.
On the investments front, it is clear that since his rise to power, President Mnangagwa enunciated his vision for economic restoration under the ‘Zimbabwe is open for business’ mantra.
Steered by vision 2030 that seeks to achieve an upper middle-income economy, the Second Republic has declared war on corruption and is on a crusade to foster investment reforms, trimming fiscal deficit and restructuring the civil service, among others.–herald.co.zw