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By Timeyin Mammah

Mauritius, the tiny archipelago off the Southern African tip, this week emerged again as Africa’s best governed state.

On the contrary, African giant, Nigeria, posted a dismal 39th position. This was even a two point loss on its 2013 ranking when it was the 37th best governed state in the continent.

According to the Mo Ibrahim index for good governance which was released on Monday, Nigeria scored 44.9 marks which is an astonishing 34.89 marks lower than top placed Mauritius who scored 79.79 marks in the ranking of 52 African states.

The Ibrahim Index of African Governance was established in 2007 by Mo Ibrahim the Sudanese billionaire and it has grown to the most comprehensive and reliable collection of data on African governance.

The IIAG assesses progress of African countries under four main conceptual categories: Safety & Rule of Law, Participation & Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development.

According to the 2015 Mo Ibrahim index more than a third of African countries are on the decline in good governance. Only six countries registered an improvement in all four categories of the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance. They are Cote d’Ivoire, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia and Zimbabwe.

The top three countries in the index remain Mauritius, Cape Verde and Botswana. The bottom three are Central African Republic (CAR), South Sudan and Somalia.

“Africans overall are certainly healthier and live in more democratic societies than 15 years ago,” said founder Mo Ibrahim said.

However, “the 2015 Ibrahim index of African governance shows that recent progress in other key areas on the continent has either stalled or reversed, and that some key countries seem to be faltering,” he said.

“This is a warning sign for all of us. Only shared and sustained improvements across all areas of governance will deliver the future that Africans deserve and demand.”

The Mo Ibrahim foundation also awards a $5 million prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The foundation prize committee announced Monday that it had decided not to award the prize as no African leader is currently worthy of it. It is the second straight year that the prize would not be awarded. The last winner of the prize in 2012 was Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Also in 2009 and 2010 there was no winner.

Previous winners of the Prize for Achievement in African Leadership are President Pedro Verona Pires of Cape Verde in 2011, Joaquim Chissano of Mozambique in 2007 and Festus Mogae of Botswana in 2008. Nelson Mandela was made an honorary inaugural Laureate in 2007. President Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia won the 2014 Ibrahim Prize Laureate in March. In 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2013 the Prize Committee did not select any qualified winners.

The Ibrahim Prize for achievement in African Leadership is the largest cash prize in the world for such a category amounting to $5 million over the period of 10 years and then $200 thousand annually for life. The prize is funded by Sudanese telecoms billionaire Mo Ibrahim but the winners are decided by a committee of experts.

Mauritius also outperforms Nigeria in other global rankings. These include the Global Financial Centres Index, the African Index on Economic Transformation, the Economic Freedom of the World Fraser Institute index, the Economic Freedom Index of The Heritage Foundation, the Forbes Best Countries for Business index and the World Bank Ease of doing business index.

Others are the Human Development Index of the United Nations, the Global Enabling Trade Report of the World Economic Forum and the Global Competitiveness Report of the World Economic Forum as well as the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Report also by the World Economic Forum

The tiny African nation also shines abobe its bigger rival in the Global Innovation Indexes of Cornell University, INSEAD and the World Intellectual Property Organization, the World Competitiveness Yearbook of the International Institute for Management Development, the International Property Rights Index of the Americans for Tax Reform’s Property Rights Alliance and the Global Services Location Index .

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