Botswana police ranked Africa’s best, Nigeria at bottom of global report

Africa’s best police service is that of Botswana despite being ranked 47th best in the world. This is according to the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) released by two bodies, the International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).

The index ranked the Rwandan police as Africa’s second best (with global position of 50th) followed by Algeria (58th), Senegal (68th) and Tunisia (72nd) in that order. Completing the top 10 for Africa were, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali respectively.

WISPI measures the ability of the police and other security providers to address internal security issues in 127 countries, across four domains, using sixteen indicators,” authors of the report stated. The four domains are, capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes.

Despite the failure of Africa to break into the top forty, the continent was very prominent in the lower rankings. Six African countries were in the bottom 10. Cameroon and Mozambique in the 120th and 122nd spots.

Uganda, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria made it an African quartet at the bottom – occupying 124th to 127 slots respectively.

At the top of the global rankings, Europe dominated with eight countries. Except first place Singapore and Australia in sixth spot, all the other countries were in Europe – Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany (2nd – 5th), Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland (7th – 10th).

About the World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI)

The aim of the WISPI is to, firstly, measure security provider performance across the four domains of internal security: capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes.

Secondly, to see how these domains relate to each other and finally to track trends in these domains over time, and to inform the work of security providing agencies, researchers, and practitioners in the field of peace and conflict studies, criminology, and police studies


Kenya’s police service has been ranked the third worst in the world according to World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI) report released by two bodies. The International Police Science Association (IPSA) and the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) report ranked Nigeria at the bottom followed by Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) with Uganda occupying the fourth worst position.

WISPI seeks to measure security provider performance across the four domains of internal security: capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes. It also seeks to see how these domains relate to each other and finally to track trends in these domains over time. It then informs the work of security providing agencies, researchers, and practitioners in the field of peace and conflict studies, criminology, and police studies. Kenyan police officers were recently accused of killing unarmed demonstrators who were protesting against the outcome of the August elections.

Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is the worst in the world, according to the 2016 World Internal Security and Police Index (WISPI).

The WISPI was released by two bodies – the International Police Science Association and the Institute for Economics and Peace.

The report measured the ability of the police to address internal security issues. The police in 127 countries were assessed across four key areas.

The areas are capacity, process, legitimacy and outcomes.

The report showed that Nigeria underperformed on all four domains, with a score of 0.255.

“There are 219 police officers for every 100,000 Nigerians, well below both the Index median of 300, and the sub-Saharan Africa region average of 268,” the report read.

“This limits the capacity of the force to measure up to its law and order mandate.

The average level of corruption in the world has increased in the last 20 years.

“In terms of process, legitimacy and outcomes, the story is not different which makes the force fall short of the required standard.

“High levels of political terror have been an issue for Nigeria since 1993, with the country scoring a 4 on the Political Terror Scale every year since then.”

“Terrorism remains one of the greatest threats to internal security. Terrorism has increased dramatically over the last three years, with more than 62,000 people being killed in terrorist attacks between 2012 and 2014. The biggest rise in the last year occurred in Nigeria.”

But Jimoh Moshood, spokesman of the police force, according to Cable Ng, an online newspaper, rejected the report, saying Nigeria police is the best in Africa.

According to the report, the top 10 performing African countries are Botswana which ranked highest at 47, followed by Rwanda which took the 50th position.

Others are Algeria, Senegal, Tunisia, Egypt, Burkina Faso, Ghana, South Africa and Mali, in that order.

The 10 underperforming African countries are

  • Madagascar (111th),
  • Zambia (112th),
  • Ethiopia (115th),
  • Sierra Leone (117th),
  • Cameroon (120th),
  • Mozambique (122nd),
  • Uganda (124th),
  • Kenya (125th) and
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (126th).

Europe was at the top of the global rankings, with eight European countries in total.

The already-sullied reputation of some of Africa’s largest police forces is in for more beating. Of 127 countries measured in the 2016 World Internal Security and Police Index, Nigeria’s police force ranks as the worst, just below DR Congo, Kenya and Uganda to make up the bottom four. The index, a collaboration between the International Police Science Association and the Institute for Economics and Peace, focuses on how much resources each nation devotes to internal security, whether the resources are used in an effective manner and whether the public view the police favorably. The index also assesses the current threats to internal security in each country.

Across all regions, North America and Europe show the highest level of police responsiveness to internal security issues while sub-Saharan Africa averaged the most internal security issues as security providers in the region are “under-resourced and stretched by terrorist organizations and insurgencies.” Nigeria’s scores ranked in the bottom 10 countries for all indicators measured.

Nigeria has only 219 police officers for every 100,000 citizens—below the index median of 300 and the sub-Saharan Africa average of 268, according to the report. Private security doesn’t fill much of that gap either with only 71 personnel per 100,000 Nigerians—one of the five lowest rates globally. That thin workforce has been stretched even more by the Boko Haram insurgency in the northeast, rampaging herdsmen in the middle belt region and the rampant kidnapping in Nigeria’s south.

Kenya and the Democratic Republic of Congo, both of which rank in the bottom five globally, face similar issues. Over the past year, with political tensions high, Kenyan police have faced allegations of carrying out more extrajudicial killings than anywhere else in Africa. Police forces in DR Congo have been tasked with containing several riots which have broken out across the country in response to president Joseph Kabila’s decision to remain in office.

Kenya and DR Congo have 99 and 100 police officers per 100,000 citizens respectively. Uganda is marginally better with 110 police officers per 100,000. Last year, a government survey found that Ugandans believe the police force is the country’s most corrupt institution.

Corruption is a key issue for Nigeria’s police force as well as shown by the report: 81% of respondents admitted to paying a bribe to a cop in the past year and police officers were found likely to “to use their public positions for private gain.” Public trust in the police is dire as less than 1% of thefts were reported to police officers, the report says.

For its part, Nigeria’s police force has rejected the report as “unempirical and absolute falsehood” which “should be disregarded and discountenanced.” Earlier this year a Nigerian government survey also showed police officers were the most likely of all civil servants to solicit and collect bribes. The police said the report was “entirely misleading“.

Corruption is closely correlated with internal peacefulness, and corruption in the police force, judiciary, and military is the best predictor of poor internal peace outcomes.

Five best performing countries

  • Singapore
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Austria
  • Germany

Five worst performing countries

  • Pakistan
  • Uganda
  • Kenya
  • Congo, DRC
  • Nigeria


Uganda was the fourth worst performing country on the WISPI, with a score of 0.312. The average score across all countries was 0.6, and 0.436 in sub-Saharan Africa. Uganda scored poorly across all four Index  domains, with a particularly low score on the capacity and outcomes domains. Uganda’s capacity score of 0.224 was the second lowest in the Index, behind only Kenya, and both its process and utcomes scores are ranked in the bottom ten. Uganda had a relatively small police force  for its size, with a police officer rate of 110 per 100,000 people. This was a lower police force rate than most developed, full democracies, which typically have smaller police forces. Uganda also had a relatively small military, with 116 armed service personnel per 100,000 people, which was smaller than the Index average of 120. Uganda’s prisons were also badly overcrowded with a 255 per cent occupancy rate according to the World Prison Population Project.

It scored poorly on the World Bank’s  Control of Corruption indicator, and 69 per cent of Ugandans admitted to paying a bribe to a police officer in the last year. Less than one per cent of incidents of theft were reported to the police. However, trust in police was relatively high for a country that scores so poorly on the Index, with 67 per cent of Ugandans saying that they have confidence in their local police force, which was above the Index average.

Despite this trust in police, the World Justice Project’s Rule of Law index rates Uganda very poorly on the public use, private gain indicator, which suggests that police and military officials in  Uganda abuse their positions for private gain. Uganda had the best Political Terror Scale score of the five worst performing countries, a score that has improved by two points over the last 30 years. Uganda Domain Scores Despite public confidence in the police, crime in Uganda was high. It had the 28th highest homicide rate in the Index, and the 11th highest level of violent crime. Seventeen per cent of Ugandan respondents to the Gallup World Poll said that they had been assaulted or mugged in the last year.

While Terrorism in Uganda was nowhere near as high as in Kenya, Pakistan, or Nigeria, there have still been several terrorist attacks in the last five years. There were six terrorist incidents in Uganda in 2014, in which 98 people lost their lives.


Kenya had a slightly better outcome score of 0.456, the highest of any country in the bottom five. Kenya had a relatively small police force, with 99 police officers per 100,000 people, compared to the Index average of 347 and the sub-Saharan Africa average of 268. It also had a small private security industry, with 136 private security employees per 100,000 people, which was less than half of the Index average of 330. Kenya had one of the smallest militaries on a per capita basis, with only 53 armed forces personnel per 100,000 people.

The size of Kenya’s army has fallen dramatically over the last 20 years, as the rate was 106 in 1995. Kenya performed poorly on both the process and legitimacy domains. Seventyseven per cent of Kenyans reported paying bribes to the police, and only 0.11 per centof instances of theft are reported to the police. In spite of these facts, confidence in the police at the local level remains relatively high, with 58 per cent of  Kenyans expressing confidence in their local police.


Corruption was high in Kenya, with the World Bank’s Control of Corruption indicator ranking Kenya 115th for general government corruption. Political terror has also been increasing in Kenya, as shown by its increase in Political Terror Scale score from two in 1989 to four in 2013. Despite performing poorly on the process and legitimacy domains, Kenya had a relatively good outcomes score, with Kenya having the best outcomes rank of any country in the bottom five. Kenya’s homicide rate of 6.4 per 100,000 people was lower than the Index average of 8.05, and well below the sub-Saharan Africa average of 11.53. Ten per cent of Kenyans reported being victims of an assault or mugging, far lower than the figure of 16 per cent in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and 19 per cent in Nigeria. 50- two per cent of Kenyans felt safe walking at night in their neighbourhoods or cities. However, Kenya has suffered from an increasing number of terrorist attacks in the last five years. In 2014, 291 people were killed in terrorist attacks, up from 19 in 2010.

in 2010.

Only 30 per cent of Democratic Republic of the Congo’s population felt safe walking alone at night in their neighbourhood or city.

The Democratic Republic of the Congo

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (henceforth Congo DR) suffers from a lack of available data on internal security issues. Congo DR scored 0.272, but it does have imputed data for six of the 16 WISPI indicators, and in theory could have an Index score as high 0.50 or as low as 0.16. However, given its other indicator scores and similarity to other countries, it is likely that Congo DR’s score is very close to its imputed score of 0.272. The country scored poorly across all four domains, but particularly poorly on both legitimacy and outcomes. Congo DR had one of the smallest police force rates of any country in the Index, with approximately 100 officers per 100,000 people. By comparison, the Index median rate was 300, and the sub-Saharan africa average was 268. Congo DR had an armed forces rate larger than its regional average, with 193 armed services personnel per 100,000, versus 115 for sub-Saharan Africa on average.

The size of Congo DR’s military 126. Democratic Republic of the Congo has fluctuated significantly over the past 30 year,s ranging from a high of 262 in 2009 to a low of 98 in 1994.

Corruption remains a problem in Congo DR, particularly in the police force. It had the fourth worst score on the World Bank’s Control of Corruption indicator, and 78 per cent of respondents to the Global Corruption Barometer survey indicated that they had paid a bribe to the police in the last year. Confidence in the police was below the Index average. Only 46 per cent of the population in Congo DR have confidence in their local police. Congo DR scored five on the Political Terror Scale in 2014 having been a consistent poor performer on this indicator, scoring a five every year from 1996 onwards. Congo DR suffers from some of the worst violence of any country in the Index. Only 30 per cent of the population felt safe walking alone at night in their neighbourhood or city, the second lowest  percentage, and less than half of the Index Figure 16: Congo DR Domain Scores average of 61 per cent.

The homicide rate of 28.30 per 100,000 people was also well above the global average 8.05, and one of the highest homicide rates outside of South America or Central America and the Caribbean countries that are plagued by drug-trade related violence.

Sixteen per cent of respondents to the Gallup World Poll stated that they had been assaulted or mugged in the last year. There has also been a resurgence of terrorist activity in the last year, with 96 incidents and 343 deaths from terrorism in 2014.


Nigeria was the worst performing country on the WISPI, with a score of 0.255. Nigeria  scored poorly across all four domains, and had the worst score of any country in the Index on the process and outcomes domains. All of its domain scores were in the bottom ten ountries.

Nigeria had an average sized police force, and a relatively small military and private security sector. There are 219 police officers for every 100,000 Nigerians, well below both the Index median of 300, and the sub-Saharan Africa region average of 268. There were an additional 71 private security workers per 100,000 people, which was one of the five lowest private security sector rates.

However, while Nigeria’s prison occupancy rate was about 100 per cent, it was still below the  Index average of 133 per cent, and significantly lower than the regional average of 168 per cent.

Police and judicial system effectiveness is a serious issue in Nigeria. General corruption was high, according to the Control of Corruption indicator, and 81 per cent of Nigerian respondents to the Global Corruption Barometer admitted to paying a bribe to a police officer in the last year. Only 0.06 per cent of thefts were reported to police.

Unsurprisingly, the Rule of Law index found that military and police officials are likely to use their public positions for private gain. High levels of political terror have been an issue for Nigeria since 1993, with the country scoring a 4 on the Political Terror Scale every year since then.

Internal conflict in Nigeria has skyrocketed in the past decade, with a particularly noticeable increase in terrorism. Over 12,000 people have been killed in terrorist attacks since 2006, of which 7,512 occurred in 2014 alone.

The terrorist group Boko Haram have been responsible for most of the attacks, but Fulani militants have also been responsible for hundreds of deaths in attacks against farms and villages. Nigeria had an estimated homicide rate of 20 per 100,000 people, well above the Index average, and 19 per cent of Nigerian respondents to the Gallup World Poll stated that they had been assaulted or mugged in the last year.


  1. Singapore
  2. Finland
  3. Denmark
  4. Austria
  5. Germany
  6. Australia
  7. Netherlands
  8. Norway
  9. Sweden
  10. Switzerland
  11. Iceland
  12. New Zealand
  13. Ireland
  14. Slovenia
  15. Japan
  16. Estonia
  17. Canada
  18. Belgium
  19. Spain
  20. United Kingdom
  21. Portugal
  22. France
  23. Poland
  24. Czech Republic
  25. South Korea
  26. Slovakia
  27. Croatia
  28. Taiwan
  29. United Arab Emirates
  30. Cyprus
  31. Georgia
  32. Kuwait
  33. United States
  34. Italy
  35. Uruguay
  36. Lithuania
  37. Jordan
  38. Montenegro
  39. Israel
  40. Kosovo
  41. Bahrain
  42. Latvia
  43. Chile
  44. Bosnia and Herzegovina
  45. Romania
  46. Armenia
  47. Botswana
  48. Greece
  49. Serbia
  50. Rwanda
  51. Bulgaria
  52. Saudi Arabia
  53. Malaysia
  54. Hungary
  55. Macedonia (FYR)
  56. Tajikistan
  57. Belarus
  58. Algeria
  59. Vietnam
  60. Turkey
  61. Uzbekistan
  62. Sri Lanka
  63. Azerbaijan
  64. China
  65. Jamaica
  66. Mongolia
  67. Trinidad and Tobago
  68. Senegal
  69. Thailand
  70. Nepal
  71. Lebanon
  72. Tunisia
  73. Panama
  74. Albania
  75. Kazakhstan
  76. Egypt
  77. Argentina
  78. Moldova
  79. Ecuador
  80. Iran
  81. Guyana
  82. Russia
  83. Burkina Faso
  84. Indonesia
  85. Ghana
  86. El Salvador
  87. Costa Rica
  88. Kyrgyzstan
  89. South Africa
  90. Morocco
  91. Cambodia
  92. Mali
  93. Sudan
  94. Brazil
  95. Dominican Republic
  96. Colombia
  97. Philippines
  98. Malawi
  99. Nicaragua
  100. Burundi
  101. Myanmar
  102. Yemen
  103. Zimbabwe
  104. India
  105. Peru
  106. Liberia
  107. Guatemala
  108. Guinea
  109. Cote d’Ivoire
  110. Tanzania
  111. Madagascar
  112. Zambia
  113. Paraguay
  114. Bolivia
  115. Ethiopia
  116. Honduras
  117. Sierra Leone
  118. Mexico
  119. Venezuela
  120. Cameroon
  121. Bangladesh
  122. Mozambique
  123. Pakistan
  124. Uganda
  125. Kenya
  126. Congo, DRC
  127. Nigeria

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