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Mo Ibrahim Foundation announces next steps to strengthen Ibrahim Index

Oct 8, 2008, 5:53 AM

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation is today announcing the next steps in strengthening the Ibrahim Index. Starting in 2009, the Foundation will begin the transfer to African institutions of various aspects of the compilation of the Index. The Foundation is seeking to give African institutions the opportunity to ensure that data about the governance of each African country is as robust and comprehensive as possible.

As part of this major initiative the majority of the work behind the Ibrahim Index will transfer to selected African institutions over the coming years. The Board envisages that this transfer will both improve the quality of data in the Ibrahim Index and entrench the continent's ownership of the project. There are currently many difficulties involved in the collection and availability of data in sub-Saharan Africa , and this means that the production of any rigorous statistical analysis throws up considerable challenges. Today's announcement demonstrates the continuing determination of the Foundation to enhance and support the quality of that research.

This second edition of the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, launched today, has been prepared by the Kennedy School of Government at HarvardUniversity . The Board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation acknowledges and appreciates the work done by Professor Robert I. Rotberg, Dr Rachel Gisselquist and their team. The Board of the Foundation respects the academic integrity of the team at Harvard and has chosen not to interfere in the construction of the Ibrahim Index, beyond providing advice and perspectives.

Comprehensive assessment of governance performance is, by definition, a work in progress that must evolve to take into account the economic and social transformations taking place on the African continent.

The data in the 2008 Ibrahim Index is the result of the use of established sources and in-country research. As with any study of this size, this year's index is an evolving and complex set of data. Some of it throws up results which are surprising and will be challenged by some. The Foundation sees the Ibrahim Index as a living tool that will incorporate feedback and critiques from various stakeholders and continue to develop and improve. The Board is committed to improving the strength of the results, and today's announcement is a key part of that process.

Dr Mo Ibrahim said: "The mission of the foundation is to improve governance in Africa . Giving African civil society the tools and the data to hold their governments to account is a key part of that. We are continually striving to improve our data regarding African governance. Having African institutions eventually leading that task will help this African foundation meet its objectives".

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