OVER the past 12 years overall governance has improved in 46 African countries, accounting for 94% of the continent's population, according to the latest Ibrahim index, which scores 52 African countries (it excludes Sudan and South Sudan since they split in 2011) on the basis of four broad categories. All countries have shown improvements in the area of "human development," which measures education and health care. Yet only 20 increased their scores in the "safety and rule of law" category, which looks at the murder rate and corruption, among other things. Although cross-border clashes have declined, internal conflicts have increased since 2008. Releasing this year's index, Mo Ibrahim, the Sudanese telecoms magnate who set up his foundation in 2006, appealed for an end to recent fashionable talk of pessimism versus optimism on Africa—and called instead for "Afro-realism".