Botswana ranked 27th in Global Democracy Index 2016

Global Democracy Index has ranked Botswana 27th out of an analysis of 167 countries for 2016. This year’s score places Botswana just below Japan, USA, France and above fifteen EU member states.

The GDI rankings result is consistent with the upward trend enjoyed by Botswana since 2008, when the country was ranked 39 in the world with a score of 7.47. The Democracy Index breaks down the overall state of each country’s governance according to various categories, with Botswana continuing to obtain near perfect scores for electoral Process and Pluralism and Civil Liberties.

Meanwhile, Transparency International has also released its 2016 Corruption Perception Index. For the 21st year in a row, Botswana is cited as being the least corrupt country in Africa. Additionally, Botswana is counted among the least corrupt countries in the world.

Botswana is ranked 35th out of 176 countries, with an overall score of 70. Botswana’s standing places it within the top 5th of all surveyed countries, as well as above almost two thirds of the EU states.

How The Global Democracy Index Works

The Global Democracy Index is compiled by the UK – based Economist Intelligence Unit that measures the state of democracy in 167 countries. Of those, 166 are sovereign states and 165 are UN member states. The index was first produced for 2006, with updates for 2008, 2010 and the following years since then. The index is based on 60 indicators grouped in five different categories measuring pluralism, civil liberties and political culture.

In addition to a numeric score and a ranking, the index categorizes countries as one of four regime types full democracies, flawed democracies, hybrid regimes and authoritarian regimes.

Flawed democracies are defined as nations where elections are fair and free and basic civil liberties are honored, but may have issues such as media freedom and media freedom infringement. These nations are said to have significant faults in other democratic aspects including underdeveloped political culture, low levels of participation in politics, and issues in the functioning of governance.

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Type of regime Scores No. of countries % of countries % of world population
Full democracies 8 to 10 19 11.4 4.5
Flawed democracies 6 to 7.9 57 34.1 44.8
Hybrid regimes 4 to 5.9 40 24.0 18.0
Authoritarian regimes Below 4.0 51 30.5 32.7

Illustration: courtesy of Wikipedia

* Botswana fell in the flawed democracy category, suggesting that in spite of the good results, there’s still work to be done. How brilliant would it be for Botswana to graduate to full democracy status in the coming years? Given past results, we say it’s possible.

The report states that the democracy index is a weighted average based on the answers to 60 questions, each one with either two or three permitted alternative answers. Most answers are “experts’ assessments”; the report does not indicate what kinds of experts, their number, or whether the experts are employees of the Economist Intelligence Unit, independent scholars or what nationalities they are.

Some answers are provided by public-opinion surveys from the respective countries. In the case of countries for which survey results are missing, survey results for similar countries and expert assessments are used in order to fill in gaps.

The questions are based on five categories –

  • Electoral process and pluralism
  • Civil liberties
  • Functioning of government
  • Political participation
  • Political culture

Other African countries that fall within the flawed democracy category:

  • South Africa – 39
  • Ghana – 54
  • Lesotho – 63
  • Namibia – 71
  • Zambia – 77

Ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index – The Economist Intelligence Unit Report
Picture credit: syndikata_np

3 months ago