Democracy in Africa remains fragile

Democracy in Africa remains fragile, according the latest African Governance Report which was released last Thursday, June 5.
The report looks at governance in African countries. It monitors governments and identifies potential challenges and places where institutions are stretched. The report indicates that despite elections becoming a more frequent occurrence, they have differed in forms, content and quality and the greater regularity has not necessarily enhanced their value.
The report gives Ethiopia a score of 51 percent regarding the overall index that has several indicators including; political party freedom and security, institutional effectiveness and accountability, civil service transparency and accountability, civil society organization and media independence, among others.
Rwanda scores the highest with 72 percent and the lowest is Zimbabwe scoring 38 percent.
The report also points out some positive developments. Slight improvements in governance-the way public institutions conduct public affairs and manage public resources-has improved performances as some countries have intensified efforts to improve services.
Some steps recommended for more improvement includes; enhancing the institutional capacity of democratic structures like parliament and the judiciary and of horizontal accountability bodies like the office of the auditor general ombudsman, anti-corruption institutions and other public agencies. The report also recommends enacting freedom of information laws that grant to citizens and the media greater access to information; meeting demands for accountability from the political leadership; and providing better public services, social infrastructure and public security.
The report states that constitutional provisions that merely forbid discrimination against minorities have largely failed to resolve ethnic exclusion. It recommends the establishment of a Commission for Diversity Management in order to see the concerns of groups and to oversee the inclusion of diverse voices. It also states constitutions should have provisions for protecting diversity and for assuring a national mechanism to monitor how those provisions are carried out.