Safety and rule of law have deteriorated in several African countries since 2006, according to a report by the Ibrahim Foundation, established in 2006 to promote African governance.
Data from the 2016 Ibrahim Index of African Governance (IIAG), which analysed 95 indicators in Africa's 54 countries, suggests that the deterioration of safety has hindered the improvement of overall governance in the past decade.
Somalia and South Sudan have ranked last in terms of safety and rule of law.
South Africa and Nigeria, the continent's strongest economies, have ranked respectively 8th and 44th.
"As out index reveals, the decline in safety and rule of law is the biggest issue facing the continent today. Sound governance and wise leadership are fundamental to tackling this challenge," Mo Ibrahim, Chair of the foundation, said during a conference in London on 3 October.
Martti Ahtisaari, former president of Finland and a member of the Ibrahim Prize for Achievent in African Leadership committee, told IBTimes UK that advancing egalitarian policies is a priority in several African countries.
IIAG 2016 Report:
Over the last decade, overall governance has improved by one score point at the continental average level, with 37 countries – home to 70% of African citizens – registering progress.
However, these positive trends stand in contrast to a pronounced and concerning drop in Safety & Rule of Law, for which 33 out of the 54 African countries – home to almost two-thirds of the continent's population – have experienced a decline since 2006, 15 of them quite substantially.
More on IIAG 2016 here.
"Everyone needs to feel welcome and women and girls need a chance. Take Namibia, for example, where education is free and half of members of the parliament have to be women. This is excellent. Advancing egalitarian policies is the best medicine to prevent conflicts in societies.
"I wish we will succeed in getting similar work done in Europe and Latin America as well because these countries deserve the same chance to have annual information on how their governments are doing," Ahtisaari, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and UN diplomat, continued.
"It is also important to understand how the economies and societies of certain countries function the more understanding you have, the better assistance you can give to people."
Africa's least safe countries
The IIAG 's Safety and Rule of Law category measures personal safety, national security, accountability and the legal system.
Sudan - 2015 score: 23.4% (-3% since 2006)
There are three areas of conflict in Sudan: South Kordofan , Blue Nile and Darfur, where government troops have been fighting against opposition and rebel groups. In September, the Sudanese government was accused of using chemical weapons against civilians in Darfur, where a conflict erupted in 2003.
The Sudan Liberation Movement/Army (SLM/A) and Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) rebel groups attacked the Sudanese governmentm accused of marginalising the non-Arab population.
Libya - 2015 score: 16.3% (-34.1% since 2006)
Libya descended into chaos after the then leader Muammar Gaddafi was toppled in 2011. The country has two parliaments, each with their own government, since 2014.The expanding anarchy in Libya has provided a breeding ground for the Islamic State (Isis) terror group.
Central African Republic - 2015 score:15.7 (-16.2% since 2006)
CAR descended into chaos in 2013 after former leader Francois Bozize was overthrown during a coup and replaced by Michel Djotodia. As a result of the political unrest, Muslim Seleka and Christian anti-Balaka militias engaged in tit-for-tat violence prompting Djotodia to resign in January 2014, as he was accused of being unable to halt the unrest.
South Sudan - 2015 score: 11.5% (2006 data not available as the country was formed in 2011)
The country descended into war in 2013, when President Salva Kiir – of the Dinka ethnic group – fired his deputy Riek Machar – from the Nuer group – and his cabinet.
Following the start of the civil war, ethnic-related violence has spread, with militia groups carrying out attacks in villages and areas known to be inhabited by either the Dinka or Nuer tribes.
Somalia - 2015 score 6.3% ( -10.4% since 2006)
Somalia has been ravaged by an insurgency at the hands of Al-Shabaab terror group since 2006. The Islamic oufit aims to overthrow the Somali government and impose its own version of Islam in the country.It controlled Mogadishu and the southern region of Somalia from 2006 until 2011, when it was defeated by African Union peacekeepers.
Africa's safest countries
Botswana - 2015 score: 81.9% (-1.1% since 2006)
In September 2016, the country celebrated its 50th anniversary since independence from Britain. Some analysts have labelled the country as "Africa's model democracy".
Mauritius - 2015 score: 80.8% (-0.3% since 2006)
Popular holiday destination, has been ranked by IIAG as one of the safest African countries since 2006.
Cape Verde - 2015 score:77.1% (-2.3% since 2006)
Popular holiday destination, it has been labelled as one of the most stable democracies in Africa.
Namibia - 2015 score:76.1% (+1.3% since 2006)
The Lonely Planet described it one of the safest countries in Africa. The country has successfully transited from an apartheid-like system to democracy.
Seychelles - 2015 score:74.1% ( -0.4% since 2006)
This archipelago in the Indian ocean is also a very popular holiday destination.