Strengthening African Governance: Index of African Governance 2008

15 12 2009

URL: http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/Strengthening African Governance 2008 Index of African Governance.pdf. Source: Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Intrastate Conflict Program.

All citizens of all countries desire to be governed well. That is what citizens want from the nation-states in which they live. Thus, nation-states in the modern world are responsible for the delivery of essential political goods to their inhabitants. That is their purpose, and has been their central legitimate justification since at least the seventeent century. The essential political goods can be summarized and gathered under five categories: Safety and Security; Rule of Law, Transparency, and Corruption; Participation and Human Rights; Sustainable Economic Opportunity; and Human Development. Together, these five categories of political goods epitomize the performance of any government, at any level. No one, whether looking to her village, municipality, province, state, or nation, willingly wants to be victimized by crime or to live in a society without laws, freedom, the chance to prosper, or access to decent schools, well-run hospitals, and well-maintained roads. This 2008 Index measures the degree to which each of these political goods is provided within the forty-eight African countries south of the Sahara. By comprehensively measuring the performance of government in this manner, that is, by measuring governance, the Index is able to offer a report card on the accomplishments of each government for the years being investigated — 2000 and 2002 (for baseline indications) and 2005 and 2006 (the last years with reasonably complete available data for nearly all sub-Saharan African nation-states).

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