Mo Ibrahim Index research methodology flawed – Shyaka
Prof Anastase Shyaka, CEO Rwanda Governance Board
The latest Mo Ibrahim Index on African Governance (IIAG) published on Monday ranked Rwanda 11th out of 52 countries, with an overall governance score of 60.4 per cent, four places better than last year’s ranking.
However, Prof. Anastase Shyaka, the CEO of Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), says the group’s data gathering method is flawed and that the 2014 report on Rwanda does not reflect realities on the ground.
“The current ranking is substantially different from the previous two. Rwanda is number one in the East African Community (EAC) but a deeper analysis of the ratings shows mismatches in the indicators, especially that on safety and rule of law as well as participation and human rights,” Prof. Shyaka told The New Times yesterday.
In the participation and human rights category, Rwanda scored 47.4 per cent, while in the rule of law category, the mean score was 58.2 per cent.
Rwanda scored higher than the continental average of 51.5 per cent, while the regional average for East Africa is 48.5 per cent.
In the EAC, Tanzania comes second in overall rating behind Rwanda, followed by Kenya, Uganda and Burundi, in that order.
The country scored fairly high under the sub-categories of sustainable economic opportunity (63.4 per cent) and human development (72.1 per cent).
The category of sustainable economic opportunity covers public management, business environment, infrastructure and the rural sector, while the human development category includes welfare, education and health.
“We have been engaging the Mo Ibrahim Foundation on the mismatch of their data. Some have been corrected and others not. Their argument is that they are not data providers. And, our argument is that if their data provider is consistently providing wrong data, they need to question the reliability of their data provider,” added Prof. Shyaka.
Among the organisations that have previously conducted perception surveys in the country is Transparency International.
When contacted, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda, Marie Immaculate Ingabire who said she had not yet read the Mo Ibrahim Index, said a credible research methodology must involve going to the field.
“If you have not gone to the field, you should not report or publish anything. When you do not go to the field, all that you publish are opinions or rumours,” Ingabire said.
Shyaka said they would continue engaging the UK-based Mo Ibrahim Foundation so that the assessment done on Rwanda reflects the reality on the ground.
Unlike the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s publications, the Gallup World Poll which regularly surveys the wellbeing, behaviours, and attitudes of citizens of more than 130 countries, indicates that Rwanda is the safest country to live in, in Africa.
In a fairly comparable development, early this month, Rwanda moved up four places in the annual Global Competitiveness Index, retaining its pole position as the most competitive economy in the region and third on the continent.
According to the 2014-15 World Economic Forum annual report, released on September 2, Rwanda is one of the four African economies in the top 75 most competitive countries out of 144 surveyed globally. In the report, Rwanda ranks 18th with best structured institutions globally.
“When they measure safety and rule of law and place Rwanda alongside lawless and chaotic countries, it is an indication that something is wrong. As far as I am concerned, Gallup and the Global Competitiveness Report base their assessments on citizens’ views – they come to countries and assess, which Mo Ibrahim does not do,” said Prof. Shyaka.
The problem, he explained, is that the IIAG data is actually obtained from other data producers who may have misrepresented the reality on the ground.
At the continental level, average overall governance performance registered a slight improvement (+0.9 score points) over the last five years.
“The 2014 IIAG underscores the need to focus on building equitable and efficient institutions, such as health systems, accountability mechanisms and statistical offices. Without these, we will not be able to meet the challenges we face – from strengthening the rule of law to managing epidemics such as the Ebola virus,” says Hadeel Ibrahim, Founding Executive Director of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.
An initiative of Mo Ibrahim, a Sudanese billionaire resident in the UK, the index is compiled by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation established in 2006 with focus on the critical importance of leadership and governance in Africa, according to the organisation.