Portuguese-speaking African countries stand out in terms of stability and security compared to their African counterparts

27 October 2009

Washington, USA, 27 Oct – Stability and security and the level of civic participation and respect for human rights distinguish Portuguese speaking African countries, particularly Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe, from their continental counterparts.

It is in these two categories that the Portuguese-speaking “block” receives the best rating from a wide panel of judges from the academic, political and economic world which, based on the most recent available statistics, has drawn up the “Index of African Governance 2009,” published recently by Harvard University and the World Peace Foundation (WPF), and to which Macauhub has had access.

In the overall ranking by the study (also known as the Ibrahim Index due to the support given by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation to set it up in 2007) Cape Verde is the best ranked: 3rd place among 53 countries, after Mauritius and the Seychelles.

Yet Sao Tome and Principe also managed a top 10 position, right behind South Africa but ahead of Gabon and Morocco.

Five categories are considered in drawing up the index: “Stability and Security”, “Law, Transparency and Corruption”, “Sustainable Economic Opportunities”, “Human Development” and “Civic Participation and Human Rights”.

Mozambique appears in the bottom half of the table in 31st place, ahead of Guinea Bissau (36th) and Angola (46th).

In terms of Stability and Security, Cape Verde came out top and Sao Tome and Principe also appeared in the group of countries with maximum points (100).

Mozambique just missed out on a top 10 place, at 11th, while Guinea Bissau fell to 26th place and Angola to 29th.

Sao Tome and Principe was beaten only by Mauritius in terms of Civic Participation and Human Rights, with Cape Verde lying in 4th place, Guinea Bissau in 15th and Mozambique in 25th.

In the Law, Transparency and Corruption category Cape Verde also lies in first place, though in this case the other Portuguese-speaking countries lag much farther behind, the closest being Mozambique (32nd) and Sao Tome and Principe (35th).

Angola stands out in the Sustainable Economic Opportunities category, coming in at 12th place, just ahead of Sao Tome and Principe and Cape Verde, and well ahead of Mozambique (24th) and Guinea Bissau (52nd).

This category is calculated using statistics relating to wealth creation (GDP per capita and growth of GDP per capita), macro-economic stability and financial integrity (inflation, budget deficit or surplus in relation to the GDP, the solidity of financial institutions and business environment) as well as communication lines (roads, telecommunications).

Cape Verde earned the title “top reformer”, also awarded to Mauritius, the Seychelles and Botswana, even with the inclusion of northern African countries in the 2009 list that are usually well placed, such as Tunisia.

Yet Angola also earned a word of praise from those carrying out the study, for its long-term performance.

“Taking into consideration all the years covered by the Index, since 2000, and in comparison with the most recent, the country with the most improvements was Burundi, followed by Ruanda and Angola. Each of these countries has achieved significant improvements up until 2007 in terms of security in a post-conflict period, despite continued challenges,” said the study. (macauhub)