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World Bank says governance improved in Africa

The World Bank says governance has significantly improved in a number of African countries. In its latest report entitled: “Governance Matters, 2007: Worldwide Governance and Indicators, 1996-2006”, the Bank stated that some African countries had made strides toward cutting corruption and improving governance.

The report, which was released in Washington on Wednesday July 11th in New York, however stated that “many countries still faced tremendous challenges”. “The hopeful news is that a considerable number of countries, including some in Africa, are showing that it is possible to make significant governance progress in a relatively short period of time”, Daniel Kaufmann, a co-author of the report, said. “Such improvements in governance are critical for aid effectiveness and for sustained long-run growth”, Kaufmann said.

The report measured governance in 212 countries and territories using a comprehensive set of indicators developed over the past decade, as well as the six components of good governance.

“Kenya, Niger and Sierra Leone have improved their voice and accountability component, which measures citizen participation in government and press freedom, while Algeria and Liberia have strengthened the rule of law”, according to the report.

It further also found that Algeria, Angola, Libya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone were more politically stable, while “Tanzania is one of only two countries worldwide where progress in combating corruption was judged to be significant”, it noted.

“In some African countries, however, the quality of governance had deteriorated, while others are unstable,” the document said, highlighting Cote d’Ivoire and Zimbabwe as two countries that performed poorly in both governance and development indicators.

On global trends, Kaufman said that bribery around the world was estimated about one trillion dollars, adding that “due to corrupt practices, billions of people are living in extreme poverty”.


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