The 2020 Global Peace Index highlights the widening gap between the most peaceful and least peaceful countries. For a fourth time in the last five years, the world has witnessed deteriorating peacefulness. While eighty-one countries recorded improving peace, eighty others declined.
Iceland remains the most peaceful nation in the world. The country has retained this spot since 2008. Completing the top five most peaceful countries are New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark. On the bottom of the list is Afghanistan for the second straight year. Completing the bottom five least peaceful nations are Syria, Iraq, South Sudan, and Yemen. Inasmuch as there is no African country on the top five list, some of the countries on the continent recorded an appreciable improvement in peace.
The 2020 Global Peace Index
The 2020 Global Peace Index shows an average peace deterioration rate of 0.34% per country. The index also recorded that while the adverse effects of violence over the years have begun to abate, new conflicts have arisen as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Regionally, the Middle East and North American region are the least peaceful.
Although Europe recorded some decline in peacefulness, it still maintains its position as the most peaceful region in the world. Generally, the 2020 Global Peace Index shows that the world is less peaceful than it was since the inception of the Global Peace Index. It is worthy of note that the Global Peace Index doesn’t measure the absence of war or its presence as the only peace indicator. Peace is generally measured through safety and security, ongoing conflict, and militarization.
Ten African countries with the best global peace index rating
Africa is always a source of concern on global fronts because of its glaring underdevelopment and poverty levels. Most countries in Africa are under-developed or developing at best. Most have experienced high levels of political instability and unrest, corruption, wars, and economic stagnation. All these factors are a threat to peace.
However, some countries in Africa have shown a commendable level of peace and ranked high on the Global Peace Index. Here are the top 10 most peaceful countries in Africa for 2020:
Ranking 23 on the overall peace index, Mauritius is the most peaceful country in the sub-Saharan Africa region. Mauritius has an overall score of 1.544 with a slight score change of -0.018.
Botswana ranks 33 in the Global Peace Index with an overall score of 1.693 and a score change of 0.017. These scores make it the second most peaceful country in Africa.
This little west African country has enjoyed some level of peacefulness and this reflects in her ranking as the 3rd most peaceful country in Africa for the year 2020. Ghana is the 43rd most peaceful country in the world with an overall score of 1.776 and a score change of 0.011.
Following closely after Ghana to clutch the 4th position in peacefulness in Africa is Zambia. Zambia also follows Ghana directly in the global rankings, holding on to the 44th position. Zambia has an overall score of 1.794 and recorded a positive score change of -0.004.
#5. Sierra Leone
The West African country has an overall score of 1.82, a score change of 0.005, and an overall rank score of 46. Sierra Leone is, therefore, the 5th most peaceful country in Africa.
Senegal holds an overall Global Peace Index rank of 47, with an overall score of 1.824 and a score change of -0.013. This improvement can be attributed to Senegal’s improved levels of internal organized conflicts.
Tanzania holds the 7th position in peacefulness is sub-Saharan Africa. It records a score change of -0.012, an overall score of 1.85 and an overall ranking of 52.
This is the 8th most peaceful country in sub-Saharan Africa with an overall ranking and score of 53 and 1.861 respectively. Namibia also recorded a -0.031 score change, a slight improvement from the previous year.
With an overall Global Peace Index score of 1.877, a score change of 0.017, and an overall ranking of 57, Liberia hold the spot of the 9th most peaceful country in Africa.
Wrapping the top ten best ranking African countries on the Global Peace Index is Malawi. The country has an overall score of 1.885 and a score change of 0. 107. Malawi is the 59th most peaceful country in the world.
Generally, the 2020 Global Peace Index shows that 20 countries out of 44 improved in peacefulness in sub-Saharan Africa with South Africa, Equatorial Guinea, and Cote d’Ivoire taking the top spot.
Ten African countries with the worst Global Peace Index ranking
23 countries out of 44 on the sub-Saharan African region witnessed deterioration with the Benin Republic being the worst hit. In fact, Benin Republic experienced the greatest deterioration in the world. This may be attributed to its political instability arising from the post-election clashes of 2019.
Niger recorded an increase in the violent crime indicator from the previous year. It is the second biggest in deterioration in the region. Nigeria has also proven to be a great source of concern, especially in safety/security and ongoing conflict domains. Here are the 10 worst African countries in peacefulness according to the 2020 Global Peace Index:
#10. South Sudan
South Sudan has faced a lingering political crisis for the past 6 years that has greatly affected the economy and has put them on the worst sub-Saharan African country in peacefulness. The feuding leaders have reached a truce finally and hopefully, things will start to get better for the country. South Sudan has an overall Global Peace Index score of 3.447, a score change of 0.012, and ranks 160 globally.
Somalia holds the 158th position overall, recording a score change of 0.067 and an overall score of 3.302, making it the 2nd worst country in the sub-Saharan Africa region.
#8. The Democratic Republic of the Congo
Coming third from the bottom of the worst rankings for sub-Saharan Africa is Congo. Congo occupies the 156th position overall with a score change of -0.022 and an overall score of 3.243.
#7. Central Africa Republic
The Central Africa Republic is ranked 155th position on the 2020 Global Peace Index. Its overall score is 3.237.
Nigeria is the 6th worst country in peacefulness in sub-Saharan Africa with an overall ranking of 147, a score change of 0.022, and an overall score of 2.865.
Coming shortly after Nigeria is Mali. The country holds the 5th position of worst African countries while clinching the 144th overall position globally. Mali witnessed a general score change of 0.045 and an overall score of 2.729. The deteriorating political tension is to blame.
The overall ranking for Cameroon is 141st. Cameron witnessed a deterioration of 0.057 from last year with an overall score of 2.65.
This is the 3rd worst African country in the Global Peace Index for 2020. Niger has an overall score of 2.608, a score change, and an overall rank of 0.188 and 138 respectively.
Ranking 136th on the global sphere, Eritrea is the 2nd worst African country in the Global Peace Index.
Chad is the lease on the list of deteriorating countries on the 2020 Global Peace Index.
The Top Ten Countries whose rankings improved from Previous Records
Some countries witnessed a significant improvement in peace in comparison to their previous record. The top ten countries whose rankings improved from last year based on GPI scores are:
- South Africa
- Cote D’Ivoire
- Equatorial Guinea
- The central African Republic
The Global Peace Index (GPI) is produced yearly by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) and seeks to measure global peacefulness by ranking 99.7% of the world’s population according to various peace indicators and 3 domains – Safety and Security, Ongoing Conflict and Militarisation. The aim of the IEP is to set the world on a peace trajectory as a viable means of fostering economic growth, development, and sustainability.
By producing the GPI, the Institute of Economics and Peace wishes to measure the relationship between peace and the economy and how much one affects the other. It provides peace-measuring metrics, produces frameworks to define peace, and tries to aid a better understanding of the socio-economic factors responsible for peace as well as communicating the economic value of peace. The global economic impact of violence in 2019 was $14.5 trillion.
Obviously, violence is expensive. While the global economic impact of violence rising for the second year in a row, we want to hear your suggestions on how African governments can improve peace in the region. Please share your comments in the box below.