LONDON (Thom Chiumia, June 1, 2016)- Zambia has been ranked a prosperous country ahead of Africa’s economic giant, Nigeria in the African continent according to the latest Africa Prosperity Report, which measures the human and economic prosperity of nations around the world released on Wednesday June 1, 2016 by the Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank.
Southern African states, South Africa and Botswana have scored high ahead of their continental peers as top and second respectively.
According to the 2016 Africa Prosperity Report, strong communities, personal freedom and democratic institutions are the recipe for success in South Africa and Botswana, while poor governance, dire health conditions and low levels of internal security has contributed to the dragging down of the rest.
Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy is not as prosperous as Zambia (ranked 10th), impoverished Malawi or Rwanda. The oil-rich country ranked low in all the sub-indexes — economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital; coming in at 26 in the African t prosperity index.
Zambia’s best rating is in governance and education but has a poor rating in health.
Ghana with poor economic rating is on number 9, though doing well in entrepreneurship and opportunity.
The Africa Prosperity Index shows Rwanda is the most improved country since 2009 rising 10 ranks within Africa and war-torn Central African Republic (CAR) is the least prosperous country in Africa, whose best rank in the sub-indexes was in personal freedom.
Chad and Burundi also join CAR in the least prosperous countries in Africa. Others being the Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan, oil –rich Angola, Liberia, Guinea, Togo and Zimbabwe.
Augustine Chipungu, Research Analyst -at the Legatum Institute, said: “The 2016 Africa Report sought to determine what level of prosperity African countries can and should be expected to deliver given their level of wealth. This was done by assessing their level of wealth (GDP per capita), and modelling it against their score in the Prosperity Index.”
He said :The difference between what they delivered, and expectation – the Prosperity Index gap – showed us which countries over-delivered i.e. which countries delivered more prosperity than expected given their wealth, and which under-delivered i.e. which countries delivered less prosperity than expected given their wealth.
“The results found that wealth is neither necessary nor sufficient for the improvement of prosperity delivery.”
Alexandra Mousavizadeh, a top economist and Director of the Legatum Prosperity Index, urges policy makers to take the finding of the report and “reflect on the state of the fundamental cornerstones of prosperity delivery at home.”
Despite Africa enjoying high growth rates – averaging 5.5% in the last decade alone- the continent has been outpaced in prosperity delivery when compared to other developing countries in Europe and Asia, the survey revealed.
In addition, the continent has also been outpaced in other key targets. For example, in 1990, the number of people living below US$1.90 in East Asia was 60.6%, whilst in Sub-Saharan Africa, it was 56.8%. By 2012, this figure was 42.7% in Sub-Saharan and 7.2% in East Asia.
This is reflected in the Prosperity Index where the median rank for Sub-Saharan Africa is 98.5, whilst in Asia, it is 57.