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PRETORIA - The 2018 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG) launched in Pretoria on Friday shows a moderate upward trajectory in African governance, with the continent reaching its highest governance score last year. 

"Thirty-four countries, home to approximately three out of four Africans (71.6% of Africa's citizens) have improved their governance performance over the last ten-year period. It does leave however, at least one in four Africans (27, 2%) experiencing declines in governance as 18 countries register a deteriorated score over the last 10 year's," according to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

The IIAG highlights that public governance progress in Africa is lagging behind the needs and expectations of a growing population, composed mainly of young people.

"Over the last decade, overall governance has on average maintained a moderate upward trajectory, with three out of four of Africa's citizens (71.6%) living in a country where governance has improved," according to a statement released by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation.

According to the Foundation, African countries have however struggled to translate economic growth into improved sustainable economic opportunity for citizens.

"Since 2008, the African average score for sustainable economic opportunity has increased by 0.1 point, or 0.2% despite a continental increase in GDP (gross domestic product) of nearly 40% over the same period. There has been virtually no progress in creating sustainable economic opportunity - which means it remains IIAG's worst performing and slowest improving category," according to the Foundation.

Red flags were also raised on Africa's education sector. 

"While human development is one of the bigger success stories of the 2018 IIAG, driven by improvements in health, the stalling progress in education seen in last year's IIAG has now turned to decline. For 27 countries, education scores registered deterioration in the last five years, meaning that for more than half (52.8%) of Africa's young population, education outcomes are worsening."

The IIAG is a tool that measures and monitors governance performance in African countries.

The Mo Ibrahim Foundation defines governance as the provision of the political, social and economic public goods and services that every citizen has the right to expect from the State, and that a State has the responsibility to deliver.

African News Agency (ANA)