Kenya has been ranked among top five countries with the best government policies to support development and eradicate poverty in 2015.
This follows a release of the World Bank annual Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for Sub-Saharan Africa where 38 countries were reviewed.
In the report, which assess the quality of countries’ policy and institutional progress using 16 development indicators in four areas: economic management, structural policies, policies for social inclusion and equity, and public sector management and institutions Rwanda topped the list of best countries with a CPIA score of 4.0 followed by Cabo Verde, Kenya, and Senegal, all with a 3.8 score.
Improvements in several policy areas reversed the slide in Ghana’s score, lifting the country’s CPIA score from 3.4 in 2014 to 3.6 in 2015.
Countries transitioning out of violence saw modest improvements. Côte d’Ivoire (3.3), which has enjoyed four consecutive years of wide-ranging reforms and improvements in CPIA scores, saw stronger performance in equity of public resource use in 2015, but this did not translate into an improvement in the country’s aggregate CPIA score.
By contrast, both Burundi (3.1) and The Gambia (2.9) saw the CPIA score drop from last year’s rating, underscoring that conflict and weak governance can set back policy gains and development progress.
Countries are rated on a scale of 1 (low) to 6 (high) for each indicator. The overall CPIA score reflects the average of the four areas of the CPIA.
The average CPIA score for Sub-Saharan Africa countries combined was 3.2 in 2015, which remains similar to last year’s performance.
However, the review shows that half of the region’s countries posted relatively weak performance in their policy environment supporting development and poverty reduction in 2015.
The CPIA rates the performance and challenges of poor countries in order to determine the allocation of low to zero-interest financing and grants for countries that are eligible for support from the World Bank’s International Development Association (IDA)*.
The number of African countries that saw a decline in CPIA score in 2015 is nearly double the number of improvers. This is largely due to weaker performance in the economic management cluster underpinned by weaker global economic conditions.
Sub-Saharan Africa’s fragile countries also continue to lag behind fragile countries elsewhere, particularly in the quality of public institutions. The analysis notes that there was a slowdown in the pace of improvement in governance in 2015.
Only seven countries–Ghana, Comoros, Chad, Guinea, Madagascar, Rwanda, and Zimbabwe–strengthened their governance framework compared to nine in 2014 with another six countries experiencing a decline against four in 2014.
Overall, the low governance scores for African countries indicate that public institutions need to be strengthened so they can be more accountable for delivering human development services, security, and justice to citizens.