Africa richer but less free, survey finds

Oct. 4, 2010 at 3:33 PM
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LONDON, Oct. 4 (UPI) -- Africa is advancing economically but slipping in human rights, an annual survey released Monday indicated.

The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, sponsored by a Sudanese telecom mogul, ranks African countries on 88 indicators, ranging from corruption to education, on a scale of zero to 100.

"While many African citizens are becoming healthier and have greater access to economic opportunities than five years ago, many of them are less physically secure and less politically enfranchised," Ibrahim said Monday.

In this year's report, the average score was 49, largely unchanged from previous years.

Mauritius (82), the Seychelles (75) and Botswana (74) top the overall rankings, while Somalia (8), Chad (31) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (32) are at the bottom.

Angola, Liberia and Togo saw marked improvements in their scores while Eritrea and Madagascar slipped significantly.

The index groups indicators in four groups. In two of them, sustainable economic opportunity and human development, the picture was good. No country declined significantly, the index authors said.

But in the other two categories -- safety and rule of law, and participation and human rights -- the situation was grimmer.

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