AFRICANGLOBE – The 2014 Africa Prosperity Report, launched today, named Botswana the most prosperous country in Africa overall for the third year in a row.
The 2014 Africa Prosperity Report ranks 38 countries in terms of prosperity—defined as wealth and well-being. The report measures GDP and eight sub-indices such as education, health, and personal freedom. It confirms success across the continent in terms of Economy and Entrepreneurship and Opportunity. It reveals, however, serious problems in Health, Education, Gender gap and Safety & Security.
Botswana was ranked the richest country on the continent in terms of GDP per capita ($15,176) and scored well in the Governance, Education and Personal Freedom Indices.
The Central African Republic ($584 per capita) was the lowest ranked country on the continent.
Eastern Africa emerged as the region with the largest increase in prosperity in the past three years.
Nathan Gamester, Programme Director of the Legatum Prosperity Index™, says, “Prosperity is not just about having a strong economy; it is about having great education, healthcare, and freedom to choose among other things. As African economies grow, a chief concern for many governments is how to ensure that the fruits of growth benefit a majority of the population and contribute to true long term prosperity.”
The Arab Spring: A setback for women, tolerance, and personal freedom?
The Arab Spring has not promoted prosperity in North Africa. North African countries are in the bottom third for Personal Freedom—which has decreased over the past two years. Egypt is ranked last (38th) in the Personal Freedom sub-index for the past three years. The country also shows the lowest tolerance for immigrants (40%) and minorities (20%) in Africa in 2014.
Women are worse off in the wake of the Arab Spring. The gender gap in business ownership increased by 11% from 2010 to 2013. More women perceive corruption in business (+12%); less women feel safe walking at night (-37) and fewer than ever feel satisfied with the freedom of choice in their life (-5%).
The report is published by the Legatum Institute, a charitable public policy think-tank. The majority of data and analysis is drawn from the flagship Legatum Prosperity Index™, which explores the foundations of prosperity in 142 countries around the world.
Solène Dengler, Research Analyst in the Prosperity Index team states, “By supporting education quality, female entrepreneurship, and the rising middle class, African countries could avoid a future where inequality and chronic poverty persist alongside wealth and prosperity. In turn, this will empower disadvantaged groups that have been left out of the current economic boom, raising personal and national wellbeing.”
African women still face a gender gap
Only 8% of women, as opposed to 18% of men, are in full time employment. 41% of women are out of work, as opposed to 23% of men. 22% of women currently own a business—though these are overwhelmingly small and micro enterprises.
Novella Bottini, Econometrician in the Prosperity Index team states, “With regards to entrepreneurship, despite efforts to promote business across Africa, women are often left out. Initiatives that support women empowerment and a more active participation in business will be key for future prosperity through increased economic activity, and larger investments in health and education of their families and communities.