Angola is Portuguese-speaking nation to show most governance improvement in 2005

25 September 2006

Washington, USA, 25 Sept – Angola was the country with the worst governance amongst the Portuguese-speaking nations, but also showed the most improvement last year in a World Bank ranking in which Portugal and Cape Verde were the best placed amongst the eight countries of the Portuguese-speaking world.

The Governance Matters V: World Governance Indicators 1996-2005, which assessed almost all the nations of the world in terms of the quality of their governance, showed up some interesting facts. Portugal has the most effective government amongst the eight countries, Angola is the most corrupt, and Cape Verde is, amongst the Portuguese-speaking African nations and Brazil, the country with greatest stability and Rule of Law.

From 2004 to 2005 and on a scale of between -2.5 (minimum) and +2.5 (maximum), Angola improved in four of the six indicators looked at, with the exception of, “Voice and Responsibility” (to -1.15 points) and “Quality of the Regulatory Environment,” where it posted a slight downturn, from -1.23 points to -1.24 points.

The most significant improvements were posted for “Effectiveness of Government” (of 0.18 points to -0.96 points) and “Control of Corruption” (of 0.11 points to -1.09) as well as improvements in “Political Stability and Lack of Violence” and “Rule of Law”.

Cape Verde was placed far ahead and, Portugal aside, was the best-ranked of all the Portuguese-speaking countries, in all areas of governance.

Last year, the country posted improvements for three indicators – “Voice and Responsibility,” “Effectiveness of Governance” and “Rule of Law” – and slight falls in the other three.

The archipelago’s best performance was seen in stability, which was assessed at 0.88 points by the World Bank’s researchers, which was the highest classification of a Portuguese-speaking African country, despite the fact that the previous year it had stood at 1.09 points, which is the general level of European countries.

Mozambique was positively assessed in the study, as being amongst the groups that “made progress in one or more areas fop governance in the last decade,” which also included Tanzania, Ghana, Botswana, Nigeria and Senegal.

The high number of African countries included in the group of those that made greatest improvements led the authors to say that good governance, “is not exclusively a challenge for the developing world and the countries that carry out reforms can show significant improvements in governance and reducing corruption in a reduced period of time, even in less than a decade.”

Guinea Bissau, however, was far from praised by the World Bank as last year all of its indicators deteriorated, which was likely due to the military and political instability faced by the West African country in recent years.

Guinea Bissau was the Portuguese-speaking country with the least effective government (-1.46 points) and where the Rule of Law had least strength (-1.33 points), despite maintaining a positive classification in “Voice and Responsibility.”

This indicator was the only one in which Brazil, the largest Portuguese-speaking country, posted improvements last year and also the only one in which it was given a positive mark.

Mozambique managed to improve in just two indicators – responsibility and particularly, in the control of corruption, which improved by 0.13 points.

Sao Tome and Principe and East Timor posted improvements in three of the six indicators.

Sao Tome continued to have the best marks out of the eight countries in terms of stability and responsibility, but also the worst marks amongst Portuguese-speaking countries in terms of government effectiveness and the regulatory environment.

In 2005, when the current turbulent year had not yet begun, East Timor posted improvements for “Rule of Law” and control of corruption, and worsened its performance in the remaining indicators whilst having a positive mark only for “Political Stability and Lack of Violence”.

Portugal was the only country of the eight to be given a positive classification for all indicators, but only improved in terms of stability.

For Voice and Responsibility, which takes into account political, civil and human rights, Portugal was given the same number of points as in the previous year, whilst there were slight falls in the remainder of the indicators.

The World Bank’s researcher’s consider the likelihood of changes or violent threats to the Government including terrorism for “Political Stability and Lack of Violence,” and efficiency of bureaucracy and quality of public services for “Effectiveness of Government,” and the incidence of policies that are not favourable for the market in “Quality of the Regulatory Environment.”

The “Rule of Law” indicator looks at the quality of execution of contracts, the actions of the police and the courts, including judicial independence and crime levels, and “Control of Corruption” takes into consideration the level of abuse of political/public power for private gain, including corruption on a small and large scale (and holding of power by the elite). (macauhub)