, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 4 – Kenya has slipped four positions to number 27 out of 53 African countries in the latest continental governance ratings released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
In the evaluation conducted between 2005 and 2009, the country continued its poor performance on insecurity, infrastructure, personal safety, corruption, a facilitative business environment and the performance of the Judiciary.
In 2005 the country had been ranked 23rd on the continent. Overall, Kenya scored 50 points out of 100, slightly above the continental average of 49 and the east African score of 45.
"The data we have stopped in July 2009, which means we took into consideration the happenings of the 2008 post election violence," said Hania Farhan, the Director of Index at the Foundation while appreciating that the decline could be attributed to the effects of the violence.
The country scored poorly in the area of infrastructure and personal safety and was ranked 42nd in Africa on both categories.
Kenya was however recognised for improvements on gender issues (which include gender equality, ratios of boys to girls in primary school and women participation in the labour force and politics) scoring 10th in the continent and citizen participation ranking 18th.
On access to health the country was ranked 26th while on education it was the 30th in the continent. "In health the indicators include immunization, Antiretroviral Therapy reduction of children mortality, access to piped water and reduction of incidences of tuberculosis," said Ms Farhan.
"There has been deterioration in the area of accountability and corruption."
The country came fifth regionally out of the 12 nations categorised as East African countries. It was trounced by Seychelles (top), followed by neighbours Tanzania, Uganda and Djibouti in that order. Continentally Seychelles was second, Tanzania 15th, Uganda 24th while Djibouti was 26th.
Mauritius topped the continent while Botswana was ranked third. The lawless state of Somalia came last followed by war-torn Chad and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The report studies data for five years and classifies it into four broad categories including personal safety and the rule of law (judicial independence and property rights), participation and human rights (citizens\’ participation, rights and gender), sustainable economic opportunity (private sector, infrastructure, public management and environment) and human development (health and education).
The foundation has challenged technocrats and non-governmental organisations to use the ratings to draw up development strategies.
"This would be a very useful instrument in terms of diagnostic. If you are policy maker you could see where there has been good delivery and come up with strategies to improve the areas that are wanting," said Ms Farhan.
Besides ranking countries, the foundation also honours leaders for Achievement in African Leadership. However in the last two years it has not identified any African leader who meets the criteria. The Prize Committee has twice announced that it had considered some credible candidates, but after in-depth reviews could not select a winner.