Pundits sceptical after Mo Index plaudits for Tanzania | JamiiForums | The Home of Great Thinkers

Dismiss Notice
You are browsing this site as a guest. It takes 2 minutes to CREATE AN ACCOUNT and less than 1 minute to LOGIN

Pundits sceptical after Mo Index plaudits for Tanzania

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by BAK, Oct 22, 2012.

  1. BAK

    BAK JF-Expert Member

    Oct 22, 2012
    Joined: Feb 11, 2007
    Messages: 70,746
    Likes Received: 82,686
    Trophy Points: 280
    [TABLE="class: contentpaneopen"]
    [TD="class: contentheading, width: 100%"]Pundits sceptical after Mo Index plaudits for Tanzania [/TD]
    [TD="class: buttonheading, width: 100%, align: right"] [/TD]
    [TABLE="class: contentpaneopen"]
    [TD="class: createdate"] Sunday, 21 October 2012 11:49 [/TD]
    By Sylivester Ernest
    The Citizen Reporter
    Dar es Salaam.

    As Tanzania basks in the glow of a recent report that ranks it among Africa’s best-governed countries pundits remains sceptical, saying the experiences of wananchi on the ground do not reflect its findings.

    Experts that spoke to The Citizen on Sunday last week argue a lot more needs to be done before Tanzania can compares itself to better-governed nations like Ghana, Lesotho and Botswana, among others.

    Others are critical of the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), which is the basis for these rankings.
    They argue the IIAG and the Mo Ibrahim Foundation does little to support the anti-imperialism struggles of Africa’s working majority, who want governance that advocates social justice and protects human dignity.

    The IIAG reports ranks Tanzania tenth out of 52 African states. The country has done better than its four East African Community partner states of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi. On governance in East Africa overall winner Mauritius and fourth-ranked Seychelles eclipsed the rest of the region. Still Tanzania’s achievement is remarkable considering this is the first time the nation places in the top ten in the Index’s six-year run.

    Nonetheless political scientist Mr Bashiru Ali of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration at the University of Dar es Salaam (UDSM) says there are deficits in the IIAG ranking system that render the whole exercise pointless to Africa’s working class.

    “I am very concerned with how the Mo Ibrahim Foundation purports to support governance, leadership, development and democracy in Africa,” Mr Bashiru says. “Their index stands in stark contrast to on-going efforts against imperialism by the working population across Africa like the miners in South Africa, war veterans in Zimbabwe, domestic workers in every city and town,” he added.

    According to him the silent majority wants a system of government that is grounded on the principles of social justice and on respect for human dignity. Mr Ali sees glaring omissions in the criteria the Ibrahim Foundation used to determine Africa’s best-governed nations. “The assessment framework used by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation lacks one critical criterion; commitment by Africans and African leaders to Pan-Africanism and anti-imperialism,” he observed.

    UDSM lecturer and analyst Mr Paschal Mdukula is a lot less charitable looking to the future. He says although the Mo survey findings are legitimate, he bets Tanzania will slip a few places in next year’s index.
    “We are seeing more cases of citizens suffering abuse in the hands of our security agencies so really we can’t be that good. Surely more needs to be done,” said the UDSM academician.

    He contends that Tanzania lags behind counties like Ghana and Botswana in governance particularly in how its security organs handle civil unrest. Additionally, the fact that government officials continue to be implicated in scandals also points to leadership problems according to him.

    Others like United Nations resident coordinator Mr Tobias Rahm believe Tanzania deserves praise for consistently safeguarding human rights. “Peace, pluralism and unity are the founding tenets of this country (and) they all are crucial to the creation of a human rights culture,” he told The Citizen on Sunday.

    According to him, Tanzania’s continued opposition to the death penalty, its commitment to the UN Convention against Torture and its efforts to stop human rights violations like the killing of albino all point to a country that deserves its top ranking in the IIAG.

    However Mr Rahm admits that recent reports on incidents where innocent lives were lost due to a heavy-handed law enforcement response are especially troubling. Increasing incidences of mob violence are testimony that for some the need for retaliation trumps respect for life itself, according to him. He advocates zero tolerance for any form of violence and he thinks a free media could successfully push this agenda. “The proliferation of print, audio and social media options has definitely increased global awareness on human rights in Tanzania,” he said adding “We should see this as a positive step.”

    The 2011 Ibrahim Index gave Tanzania an average score of 59 points (out of 100), which is far better than the continental average of 51 points (out of 100). The country did particularly well in two categories, Safety & Rule of Law and Participation & Human Rights, averaging 62 points on both.

    However, this nation had a weak showing in the category of Sustainable Economic Opportunity, where infrastructural woes and an uncompetitive business environment held it back.

    It averaged 33 points in the Infrastructure subset and did marginally better in Business Environment, where it scored 56 out of 100 available points. Moreover, Tanzania’s below-average scores in Education (46 points) and Welfare (49 points) did little for its overall placing.