Liberia has emerged with the biggest leap in government performance in the 2008 Survey of African Governance, published in Addis Ababa on Monday by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. The organization founded by African telecommunication pioneer Mo Ibrahim to promote better governments in the continent, carries out the survey in sub-Saharan African nations. The survey, entitled the “Ibrahim Index of African Governance,” ranks African countries using 57 criteria in five categories: safety and security (assessing the effects of conflict and violent crime); the rule of law, transparency and corruption; participation and human rights (which examines the freedom to vote and respect for press freedom and other rights); sustainable economic opportunity; and human development (which considers poverty levels, health and education provision). In a statement issued with the results, Mo Ibrahim said, “the real story coming out of Africa is that governance performance across a large majority of African countries is improving… I hope these results will be used as a tool by Africa’s citizens to hold their governments to account…”
Full information on the Index is available on www.moibrahimfoundation.com
Nigeria: Crude Oil Price in Free Fall
Crude Oil prices dropped to a new record yesterday on fears that demand would tumble further as investors confidence on US bail out package for the financial system continue to dwindle. The price dropped to $86.78 per barrel. Nigeria currently produces about two million barrels of oil per day. Oil prices soared from a scant $20 per barrel in 2002 to a record $147 per barrel on July 14, 2008 largely on a combination of demand surge and outright speculations resulting in an unprecedented inflation.
Mysterious Disease Breaks Out in Zambia
A mysterious disease with symptoms of flu, bleeding and vomiting suspected to originate from Zambia has claimed four lives in South Africa. The Government has called for calm and assured the citizens that necessary investigations were underway. Health Minister Brian Chituwo said the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) was still carrying out all the necessary investigations. The first person to suffer from the unknown disease was a female South African who was resident in Zambia fell ill and died a week later. Two other people have since died including a nurse who attended to the first patient. Chituwo urged members of the public to report any suspicious case presenting with fever, cough and bleeding from any part of the body to the nearest health facility.
Cameroon Journalists: Ethics for Dignity
The newly elected President of the Cameroon Union of Journalists, CUJ, Charly Ndi Chia, has said his executive is engaged in restoring the dignity of Cameroonian journalists. The CUJ President said reporters are made to go without salaries or are fed on what he called alms in the form of stipends, which are often insufficient given the current economic situation of the country. In return, Ndi Chia called on all journalists to prove their dignity, worth and respect of ethics of their profession. The CUJ President unveiled his plans of action: the creation of regional branches in Cameroon’s ten provinces and the establishment of a CUJ website that would help promote transparency and accountability in the running of the Union and journalistic affairs in Cameroon.
Credit Crisis Spreads to Africa
Panic erupted in African stock markets in the past week with stocks and commodities’ prices continuing to take a battering as the credit crisis spreads across the globe. Despite huge injections of funds into financial systems and the widespread bailout of banks in the US and Europe, other sectors of the world economy were also affected. The global flight from risk saw the major African Stock markets affected with the South African Rand weakening to R9 against the dollar. The Rand also weakened significantly against the Euro and Sterling.