The average quality of policies and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa was broadly unchanged in 2017, according to the latest review released on Wednesday by the World Bank.The annual report describes the progress Sub-Saharan African countries are making on strengthening the quality of their policies and institutions as produced by the World Bank Africa Chief Economist office.
According to the World Bank, this is a shift from the deterioration observed in the previous year.
This analysis covers 38 countries and describes the progress these countries are making on improving the quality of their policies and institutions.
Countries are rated on a scale of 1 (low) to 6 (high) for 16 dimensions reflecting four pillars namely economic management, structural policies, policies for social inclusion and equity, and public sector management and institutions.
In 2017, the regional Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) score was 3.1. This average CPIA score for Sub-Saharan Africa remains slightly below the average of 3.2 for other International Development Association (IDA) countries.
Speaking in Nairobi, lead economist and lead author of the report, Punam Chuhan-Pole, said that in 2017, African countries had a more favorable global environment that provided them with space to implement reforms.
“According to our analysis, nearly 30 percent more countries strengthened their policy and institutional quality in 2017 compared with 2016. This is an encouraging trend,” he added.
According to the report, Favorable global economic conditions supported a turnaround in economic activity in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2017, easing pressure on weak policy frameworks.
The report noted that country-level policy and institutional quality varied widely across the region, with Rwanda continuing to lead at the regional level and globally, with a CPIA score of 4.0.
Other countries at the high end of the regional score range were Senegal, with a score of 3.8, closely followed by Cabo Verde, Kenya, and Tanzania, all with scores of 3.7. Overall, slightly more than half (20) of the region’s IDA borrowers posted relatively weak performance—that is, a score of 3.2 or lower.
The fragile countries had difficulties to face the challenges posed by their environment regarding the high risks of conflict, commodity price shocks, or climate threat, the report observed.