Mo Ibrahim Index: Top 20 Most Governed Countries in Africa, 2018

According to the latest Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), Nigeria is the 33rd most governed Country in Africa

Top 15 Most Governed Countries in Africa, 2018

The 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) is the 12 iteration of this Index, and is the most comprehensive annual statistical assessment of the quality of governance in 54 African countries.

The report supports good governance and leadership in Africa.

The four categories of governance as assessed by the Index are: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity and Human Development.

According to the study, African government have failed to translate economic growth into improved sustainable economic opportunity for their citizens.

“Since 2008 the African average score for Sustainable Economic Opportunity has increased by 0.1 point, an equivalent of only 0.2%, despite a continental increase in GDP of nearly 40% over the same period. There has been virtually no progress in creating Sustainable Economic Opportunity, meaning it remains the Index’s worst performing and slowest improving category.” Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG)

From a total of 54 African countries in this years’ index, Nigeria was ranked among the lowest in Africa, scoring a total of 47.9 out of 100 score. Somalia was at the bottom of the table as usual, while Mauritius had the highest regional average, Ghana was ranked 6th (second highest in West Africa), South Africa 7th and Kenya 11th .

Cape Verde was ranked 3rd, making them the best governed country in West Africa

The index of African Governance, which is released annually, gave Nigeria a score of 47 out of 100, which equates to the 33rd best score on the continent.

Nigeria topped the continent in GDP size with $375,771 but flunked in safety and rule of law 38th out of 54 (46.4), performed fairly in Participation and human right 23rd (53. 2)., also performed fairly in Sustainable Economic Opportunity 29th (43.5) and totally flunked in Human development 34th (48.7 out of 100)

Speaking on why Nigeria had the highest GDP and yet flunked in Sustainable Economic Opportunity the index had this to say “There is no strong correlation between the size of a country’s GDP and scores in Sustainable Economic Opportunity. In 2017, four of the ten countries with the highest GDP on the continent score below the African average score for Sustainable Economic Opportunity and sit in the lower half of the rankings: Algeria, Angola, Nigeria and Sudan. Meanwhile, Cabo Verde and Seychelles have the 6th and 5th smallest economies on the continent yet have the 6th and 5th highest scores in Sustainable Economic Opportunity.”

Below are the Top 20 most governed Countries in Africa according to Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), 2018


1st – Mauritius 79.5
2nd – Seychelles 73.2
3rd – Cabo Verde 71.1
4th – Namibia 68.6
5th – Botswana 68.5
6th – Ghana 68.1
7th – South Africa 68.0
8th – Rwanda 64.3
9th – Tunisia 63.5
10th – Senegal 63.3
11th – Kenya 59.8
12th – São Tomé & Príncipe 59.2
13th – Benin 58.7
14th – Tanzania 58.5
15th – Morocco 58.4
16th – Burkina Faso 57.1
16th – Lesotho 57. 1
17th – Zambia 56.2
18th – Malawi 55.8
19th – Uganda 55.0
20st – Gambia 54.9

Struggling nations
Somalia (13.6), which has been plagued by clan warfare for most of the past 30 years, ranked last.

It was followed by strife-torn South Sudan (19.3) and Libya (28.3), which with the 2011 fall of the monolithic regime of Moamer Kadhafi experienced the biggest decline (-15.6).

“A majority of the improved countries over the decade have lost momentum,” the report said.

The actually governance score for the continent only went up from 48.9 points on a 100 point scale in 2008, to 49.9 points last year.

About the Ibrahim index

The ranking is issued by a London foundation established in 2006 by Mo Ibrahim, a businessman from Sudan who sold his mobile phone company Celtel in 2006.

With a mission to promote good governance in Africa, it also periodically awards a $5 million (4.4 million euro) prize to an African head of state who has left office and demonstrated good governance.


Governance is defined by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation as the provision of the political, social and economic public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from his or her state, and that a state has the responsibility to deliver to its citizens. This definition is focused on outputs and outcomes of policy.

The IIAG governance framework comprises four categories:

1. Safety & Rule of Law
2. Participation & Human Rights
3. Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and
4. Human Development.

These categories are made up of 14 sub-categories, consisting of 102 indicators. The 2018 IIAG is calculated using data from 35 independent African and global data sources.

Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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