4 October Press Briefing Notes

Monday, 4th October 2010
In the latest influential Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, Liberia is ranked 36th out of 53 countries, an incredible achievement for a country at war only 7 years ago. Liberia's score showed the biggest increase of any country from 32 in 2004/05 to 44 in 2010.

The President described Liberia’s progress captured in the 2010 Mo Ibrahim Index as an indication that Government is making steady progress. “The policies, the laws, and institutional development being put in place are beginning to yield results. There are no quick fix solutions, but progress is being felt as the reforms being put in place begin to take hold, a factor the Mo Ibrahim 2010 assessment on governance captures.”

The Mo Ibrahim 2010 assessment report is a further indication that Liberia is on the right track and making continuing progress. Particularly encouraging was Liberia’s score of 47 on the fight against corruption, giving it an overall rank of 20th on the continent. “This recognition is welcome. It shows this government is fighting corruption despite what our critics say” the President added.

Despite its post conflict status, Liberia’s score of 44 was only slightly below the overall African average of 49 and West African average and above several larger neighbours like Nigeria (43), Cote d’Ivoire (38) and Guinea (36). It also scored above Guinea Bissau, Niger and Togo.

Of the four thematic areas, Liberia’s scored well on the three relating to government: Rule of Law, Human Development and Human Rights. It’s average was pulled down by the theme relating to economic progress, the area least under control of government after the war and the focus of the Liberian government’s recent efforts to stimulate progress through investment and jobs.

Liberia’s highest scores were in Participation (62, giving it a rank of 13th), Personal safety (53, giving it a rank of 23rd) and Rule of law (50 giving a rank of 32nd). Liberia was above the African average in Education (score of 52 compared to African average of 45), Human rights (51 compared to average of 46), Personal safety (53 compared to average of 49) and Participation (62 compared to average of 42).

The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance was published in Cape Town. It measures the performance out of 100 of African governments across a range of indicators like human rights and personal safety.

The Progress the country is making is also measured in the President’s commitment to freedom of speech and of the Press, a principle recently acknowledged also by the African Editors’ Forum, an organization that brings together Editors, Senior Editorial Executives and Media Trainers from across the continent. The Association, in a recent letter informed the President of her selection for an award during its bi-annual conference in Bamako, Mali, from October 14-16.

“The organization has decided to honor leaders of our continent who have made significant improvements to the operations of media. For your government’s work in opening spaces for media, which culminated in the recent passing of the Freedom of Information Act, you have been nominated to receive the award together with the following former Presidents: Nelson Mandela, Alpha Konare, Thabo Mbeki and John Kufour,” the African Editors’ Forum said in the letter to the President.

The Government’s leadership in promoting openness was also recently underscored by the signing of a Freedom of Information Act, making Liberia only the fourth African country and the first in West Africa to pass such legislation.

I thank you.