The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, released on Monday, ranks Zimbabwe 51 out of 53 African countries judged for their commitment to four pillars of governance — safety and rule of law, participation and human rights, sustainable economic opportunity and human development.
Only Chad and Somalia performed poorer than Zimbabwe, which was ranked last in the southern African region.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) is an organisation that supports good governance and leadership in Africa.
Zimbabwe ranked lowest in business environment, 48th on the rule of law, 52nd in accountability, 47th in the area of human rights and 47th on national security.
However, the only respectable placing was 15 on infrastructure development.
Social Scientist and University of Zimbabwe lecturer, Doctor John Makumbe said the findings are a true reflection of what was prevailing in the country.
“I agree with the study findings but I am surprised we managed to beat Chad and Somalia,” Makumbe said.
“The government has delivered little in terms of development and citizens are demanding more.”
Recently the term “good governance” is being increasingly used in development literature. And bad governance is regarded as one of the root causes of all evil within societies.
Major donors and international financial institutions are increasingly basing their aid and loans on the condition that reforms that ensure “good governance” are undertaken.
The Mo Ibrahim Foundation rated Mauritius, Cape Verde, Botswana and Seychelles as the four best governed countries.
“We have seen this year that Africa’s young majority are no longer willing to stand for the selective approach to governance adopted by many of our continent’s governments,” the foundation said in a statement.
“Our young people are demanding a holistic, equitable and inclusive approach to the management of their countries.”
The index is said to be the most comprehensive collection of quantitative data that provides an annual assessment of governance performance in African countries.