Botswana’s President Ian Khama has received yet another thumbs up after his country was ranked the top African nation in this year’s Legatum Prosperity Index.
The diamond-rich nation, under the leadership of Mr Khama, fared well in the Governance and Personal Freedom categories, which encompasses freedom of speech, religion, national tolerance for immigrants and ethnic and racial minorities.
Botswana also scored well in Entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-indices.
This comes a few months after the African leadership index ranked the Botswana leader Africa’s best head of state together with Mauritius Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam.
The Legatum Index is an annual assessment of global wealth and well-being, which benchmarks 142 countries around the world in eight distinct categories: Economy; Education; Entrepreneurship and Opportunity; Governance; Health; Personal Freedom; Safety and Security; and Social Capital.
Botswana’s opposition parties have, once again, come out guns blazing accusing rating agencies of misleading people.
Opposition leader, Mr Dumelang Saleshando of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) argued that the ratings are primarily drawn from the Gross Domestic Product and inflation levels, something he feels may be misguiding.
“They turn a blind eye on the fact that these do not always translate into a better economy, health and education system, good governance and employment,” the BCP president said.
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) spokesman, Mr Moeti Mohwasa also accused the rating agencies of bias towards their own interests.
Programme Director for the Legatum Prosperity Index, Mr Nathan Gamester, said the latest report gives reason for cautious optimism in Africa.
“The potential for development and growth across the world’s most dynamic continent is enormous. Good governance and a supportive business environment remain crucial for building a prosperous country. As such, our hope is that growing prosperity across the region will empower the people of Africa to demand more from their governments and institutions, enabling them to progress yet further on the path to prosperity.”
The annual index is reviewed by a panel of scholars and academics representing a range of disciplines.