These 43 African countries have some of the worst economic freedom index scores in the world

African countries with the worst economic freedom index scores
  • Business Insider Africa presents 43 African countries that have some of the worst economic freedom scorecards in the world.
  • According to the 2022 Economic Freedom Index report by The Heritage Foundation, Mauritius is the only African country with the "most free economy".
  • Seven other countries on the continent have "moderately free" economies, while the remaining ones are "mostly unfree" and "repressed".

Of all the 184 countries that were surveyed for the 2022 Economic Freedom Index report, only eight in Africa have "mostly free" and "moderately free" economies. The rest either have "mostly unfree" or completely "repressed" economies.

The 2022 Economic Freedom Index report, which is the 28th edition, was compiled by Washington DC-based Heritage Foundation. It revealed that only these seven countries have the freest economies in the world:

  1. Singapore
  2. Switzerland
  3. Ireland
  4. New Zealand
  5. Luxemburg
  6. Taiwan
  7. Estonia.

What is economic freedom?

The report defined economic freedom as "the fundamental right of every human to control his or her own labour and property. In an economically free society, individuals are free to work, produce, consume, and invest in any way they please. In economically free societies, governments allow labour, capital, and goods to move freely, and refrain from coercion or constraint of liberty beyond the extent necessary to protect and maintain liberty itself."

How does the survey measure economic freedom?

Business Insider Africa understands that economic freedom is measured by considering these 12 quantitative and qualitative factors:

  1. Property rights
  2. Government integrity
  3. Judicial effectiveness
  4. Government spending
  5. Tax burden
  6. Fiscal health
  7. Business freedom
  8. Labour freedom
  9. Monetary freedom
  10. Trade freedom
  11. Investment freedom and
  12. Financial freedom

Do note that the 12 factors are also broadly categorised under Rule of Law, Government Size, Regulatory Efficiency and Open Markets.

Each of the indices is graded on a scale of 0 to 100, and "a country's overall score is derived by averaging these twelve economic freedoms, with equal weight being given to each," the report said.

Interestingly, out of the 184 countries that were surveyed, only one in Africa is ranked among the world's "mostly free" economies, even as seven others are ranked as "moderately free" economies. These countries are:

  1. Mauritius: 70.9 index score
  2. Cabo Verde: 66.7 index score
  3. Botswana; 64.8 index score
  4. Ivory Coast: 61.6 index score
  5. Seychelles: 61.1 index score
  6. Benin Republic: 61.0 index score
  7. Sao Tome & Principe: 60.3 index score
  8. Senegal: 60.0 index score

These 27 African countries have mostly "unfree economies"

  1. Ghana: 59.8 index score
  2. Tanzania: 59.5 index score
  3. Namibia: 59.2 index score
  4. Morocco: 59.2 index score
  5. Madagascar: 58.9 index score.
  6. Burkina Faso: 58.3 index score
  7. The Gambia: 58.0 index score
  8. Togo: 57.2 index score
  9. Rwanda: 57.1 index score
  10. South Africa: 56.2 index score
  11. Mali: 55.9 index score
  12. Gabon: 55.8 index score
  13. Mauritania: 55.3 index score
  14. Djibouti: 55.3 index score
  15. Niger: 54.9 index score
  16. Nigeria: 54.4 index score
  17. Uganda: 54.2 index score
  18. Tunisia: 54.2 index score
  19. Guinea: 54.2 index score
  20. Malawi: 53.0 index score
  21. Cameroon: 52.9 index score
  22. Kenya: 52.6 index score
  23. Angola: 52.6 index score
  24. Sierra Leone: 52.0 index score
  25. Eswatini: 51.4 index score
  26. Mozambique: 51.3 index score
  27. Comoros Island: 50.4 index score.

These 16 African economies have "repressed economies"

  1. Chad: 49.8 index score
  2. Ethiopia: 49.6 index score
  3. Egypt: 49.1 index score
  4. Zambia: 48.7 index score
  5. Republic of Congo: 48.5 index score
  6. Lesotho: 48.1 index score
  7. Liberia: 47.9 index score
  8. Democratic Republic of Congo: 47.6 index score
  9. Equatorial Guinea: 47.2 index score
  10. Guinea Bissau: 46.0 index score
  11. Algeria: 45.8 index score
  12. Central African Republic: 45.7 index score
  13. Eritrea: 39.7 index score
  14. Burundi: 39.4 index score
  15. Zimbabwe: 33.1 index score
  16. Sudan: 32.0 index score

It should be noted that Libya and Somalia were not captured in the survey.


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