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The Ten Best Governed Countries in Africa

Good News Out of Africa: The Ten Best Governed Countries

Amid worsening economic news flying at us almost constantly, there is some good news and it’s coming from a surprising corner of the globe: Africa. The continent that has been the metaphor for human misery because of continual wars, poverty, and famine in some respects is recording healthier economic growth than in the industrialized world according to the International Monetary Fund.

The IMF estimates that Africa’s economy may expand by 5 percent this year and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development reports that a bigger portion of money entering Africa since 2006 has been investment rather than aid. Even more optimistic is that the Mo Ibrahim Foundation found that 31 out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries, governance is improving. Most improved over the past year was Liberia which saw more than a quarter of a million of its own citizens perish in two civil wars between 1989 and 2003, but has now risen six places to 38th.

To see why some conditions are improving and the 10 best governed African countries,


Among the many reasons for the stirrings of this African renaissance is the end of the cold war where many African nations were torn between American and Soviet backed paramilitary organizations which brutalized their populations with impunity. Adding to that, it appears that liberation movements are slowly ebbing, giving way to more opportunities for grassroots democratic movements reflecting the true will of the people. The Ibrahim Foundation’s director of research said: “...there’s a new generation of Africans who are now saying ‘No. Show us what you can deliver’. You find autocrats are reincarnating themselves as democrats.”

According to an index of African governance released this week, the 10 best governed African countries include:

  • Mauritius
  • Seychelles (pictured)
  • Cape Verde
  • Botswana
  • South Africa
  • Namibia
  • Ghana
  • Gabon
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Senegal

Among the worst? Nigeria, Sudan, Chad, Somalia, and Angola.


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