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Ibrahim Index of African Governance


Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Stated Purpose: 

Provide a statistical measure of monitoring governance performance in African countries, to support good governance and leadership in Africa.

Area of Governance: 
Human Rights
Local Governance and Decentralization
Funding Source: 

Mo Ibrahim Foundation

Current usage: 

The results are widely publicised each year, making front page headlines in many countries.

Type of data used: 

The used data comes from standardized datasets from 23 third-party organizations, such as the World Bank, the World Health Orgnisation, UNESCO, the African Development Bank, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and the Political Terror Scale.


Country Coverage: 52 countries
Year Coverage: 2007 - present (updated annually)

Contact details: 

Mo Ibrahim Foundation 3rd Floor North  
35 Portman Square London, W1H 6LR  
United Kingdom  
E-mail: and/or  


The Ibrahim Index assesses national governance against 86 indicators. The production of the index consists of four steps:

Step 1, the data are transformed onto a scale on which they can be meaningfully compared and averaged.
Step 2, once the 86 indicators have been transformed to a common scale, each one is grouped with similar indicators to form 14 sub-categories. The sub-category score is the simple average of all the indicator scores.
Step 3, the 14 sub-categories are divided into four overarching categories (Safety and Rule of Law, Participation and Human Rights, Sustainable Economic Opportunity, and Human Development )
Step 4, the category scores are then averaged to produce the final Ibrahim Index score.

Format of results: 

0–100, where 0 is the worst possible score and 100 the best possible score.

Valid Use: 

The index can be used as a framework for citizens, public authorities and partners to assess the effective delivery of public goods and services. Moreover, it can be used as an instrument for all stakeholders to assess policy outcomes, ensure optimal allocation of resources and a useful advocacy tool.

Invalid Use: 

The index has some shortcomings, e.g, unlike the  Bertelsmann Transformation Index (BTI), it does not make a distinction between measures of the state of affairs in a country, which may be the result of the actions of previous leaders and therefore is not necessarily attributable to the leadership in power at the time data were collected, and change in the country’s state of affairs based on actual performance of the leadership.

Example results: