‘Every Seychellois who has their country at heart should be proud that Seychelles has been recognized at an international level as a leader in good governance’ he is reported to have stated.
“But this does not mean that everything is right and that we must rest on our laurels. We have to continually improve on our successes so that our governance record becomes the best, and this we can achieve if we all work together,”
He apparently aims to ‘create a modern Seychelles with a strong economy as well as engage in an “active” diplomacy on the international scene so as to further highlight the country’s attributes to the world.’
Coming out ‘second best governed country in Africa’ as the Nation puts it is indeed cause for pride in being a Seychellois.
In that regard I fully agree with the President. He has every right to exult because, let’s face it, he does represent the whole country, and the ranking reflects to a large extent, the policies and programs of the Government he heads!
I also agree with his reported comment that not everything is right.
Indeed, if he truly aims to make Seychelles the best governed country in sub-Saharan Africa, he must therefore focus attention on those areas where the 2000, 2002 and 2005 reports showed consistently low scores.
If the 2007 Mo Ibrahim Index were to be compared to a school report card, then Seychelles as a student was following a course on Good Governance comprising some 56 subjects in 5 main modules. In matters of good governance, a score below 80% is not good enough! The aim must be to be closer to 100%.
Student Seychelles therefore performed excellently with scores of 100% in 25 subjects ranging from press freedom to health matters, road networks, literacy, armed conflicts, opposition participation in elections, to respect of physical rights, etc.
Student Seychelles performed well with scores of 80%-99.9% in 14 subjects ranging from Health matters to the Judiciary, Education, Internet usage, to some aspect of the national economy, etc.
In these areas, one recognises the dogged determination of the professionals that pushed the country forward despite the often hard and intimidating local conditions.
In 10 subjects however, where scores range from 30% to 78.5%, student Seychelles needs to seriously get to work in order to improve on performance and achievement. Of particular attention is the subject respect for civil rights where the poor score of 30% is unchanged since 2000 whilst first - placed Mauritius scored 100% and 90% respectively
Of similar concern is the subject of GDP per capita growth that has plummeted from an average 52.8% in 2000 to the current 34.1%. Whilst first – placed Mauritius scored 50.5% in 2000, 47.4% in 2002 and is currently at 52.4%
There is no reason why student Seychelles should fail to achieve top scores for subjects of Free and Fair Elections, (50%) Levels of Violent Crime, (50%) Public Sector Corruption (52%), and Independence of the Judiciary (78.6%).
Student Seychelles was not rated for some 7 subjects ranging from electrical outages per year to % of 15-49 years old living with HIV.
Most of the areas of low scores fall directly in the presidential lap.
They are known and have consistently pervaded the national efforts for transparency and good governance over several years.
They have been the core of grievances from the opposition and the country at large. We do not need the Mo Ibrahim Index to re-confirm it for us.
However, this having been done, and the President deriving obvious satisfaction from the trustworthiness of the report, he has therefore the remaining years of his current presidency to both maintain current levels of good achievement and also to ensure:
1. Respect for civil rights
2. Free and Fair Elections
3. Lower levels of Violent crime
4. Eradication of Public Sector Corruption
5. Full and effective Independence of the Judiciary
6. Better GDP per capita growth.
It is a pity that his advisers seemed not to have fully briefed him on the whole extent of the report. He would have deduced that priority areas for better scores are not a strong economy (however vital this one may be ) nor active diplomacy!