- Southern African states have done it again to top the Prosperity Rankings in Africa, with South Africa, Botswana and Namibia scoring high ahead of their continental peers.
According to the Legatum Prosperity Index published today, 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.
At the bottom of the rankings are Zimbabwe and Sudan at 104 and 103 respectively.
This is the third edition of the Prosperity Index, covering about 90 percent of the world's population), and is based on a definition of prosperity that combines economic growth together with measures of happiness and quality of life.
"Thanks to strong communities and democratic institutions, South Africa is the highest ranked sub-Saharan African nation, placed 51st amongst the 104 ranked countries of the world, closely followed by Botswana at 56th. The majority of African countries rank in the bottom 15 with the Central African Republic, Sudan and Zimbabwe ranked dead last at 101st, 103rd, and 104th
respectively," said the statement by the publishers of the prosperity index today.
"The lowest ranking African countries show a clear link between a lack of effective government structures, high levels of internal conflict, and a lack of personal freedom, all of which contribute towards low levels of prosperity," said Dr. William Inboden, Senior Vice President of the Legatum Institute.
He continued that for the African countries pursuing greater prosperity, there are clear and positive signals in success stories such as South Africa and Botswana which demonstrated considerable economic growth over the last few years as well as improved governmental structure, and the promotion of civil liberties
According to the publication, the low rankings of Sub-Saharan African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe can be linked to a combination of poor governance, dire health conditions and low levels of internal security.
The report however says in Botswana, improved governmental structure and the promotion of civil liberties are key to the countries good ranking, with 84 percent of citizens confident in the fairness of the judicial system, and 91 percent believing that the country's political elections are honest. However, the very low health rank, attributed to the deep impact of the AIDS epidemic on the country, pulls it down, the report adds.
The world's most prosperous nations are in Europe, according to the index, with Finland topping the Index, followed by Switzerland, Sweden, and Denmark; the United States is 9th and the United Kingdom is 12th.
The Index identifies nine key factors that drive economic growth and personal wellbeing, which are foundations of prosperity. Each of these nine factors is represented in a sub-index and a country's final Prosperity Index ranking is generated by averaging its scores across all nine sub-indexes, equally weighted.
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