File Image: Chairman of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Mo Ibrahim

CAPE TOWN -  Robert Mugabe’s overdue departure now gives the people of Zimbabwe the chance to determine their futures, say African billionaire​ Mo Ibrahim.

"We hope that this decision will allow for a smooth and peaceful transition of power, and that all Zimbabweans will get their chance of an authentic, fair and legitimate election process," ​ he said in a statement released on behalf of his foundation. 

​Shortly before​ Mugabe's resignation on Tuesday​, the foundation launched the​ 2017 Ibrahim Index of African Governance. The index indicates that sustainable economic opportunity has lost pace over the past five years in African countries.

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The ​i​ndex measures overall governance, and Zimbabwe still ranks 40th out of 54 countries in 2016. "Zimbabwe had a mixed picture in terms of governance," ​read the statement Mauritius scored the top spot on the index and was named the best governed country in Africa.

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The Mo Ibrahim Foundation (MIF) is an African foundation, established in 2006, focusing on the critical importance of governance and leadership in Africa.