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LONDON: Governance progress slowed across Africa for the first time in a decade, even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, with commitment to democracy and civil rights faltering, a major report said Monday. The Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published every two years, gives each country's government a score according to criteria including anti-corruption measures, protection of civil liberties and caring for the environment.

More than 60 percent of Africans live in countries that made progress in good governance over the period 2010 to 2019, this year's report said. But progress has slowed in the last five years and this year, for the first time in the last 10 years, the combined score for all the countries fell year-on-year, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation added.

The foundation, set up in 2006 to focus on the need for good political leadership and public governance in Africa, cited growing curbs on people's ability to exercise their democratic rights and take part in civil society.