Mauritius most peaceful country in Africa: Global Peace Index 2014
Globally, nations spent an estimated $ 9.8 trillion, translating to around 11.3% of global GDP or twice the size of the African GDP, on containing and dealing with violence (Image: Speed Hotels)
Mauritius is ranked first in Africa and 24th in the world on the global peace index (GPI) 2014, with Botswana (global 36th), Zambia (44th), Namibia (48th) and Lesotho (50th) rounding up the top 5 in Sub-Saharan Africa and coming within the top 50 globally on the peace scale.
Mauritius also counts among only six countries in the world that are not involved in conflict in any way in the 2014 GPI, which also features fellow Sub-Saharan economy Botswana, South American economies Brazil, Chile and Uruguay, and finally Scandinavian major Switzerland.
Also, the island economy spent a lowly $775 million of its GDP in 2013 on containing violence, or around $600 per person – all on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) basis – which translates to 3.7% of its GDP.
Globally, Iceland tops the 2014 index, followed by Denmark, Austria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Finland, Canada, Japan, Belgium and Norway. The UK is ranked the 47th most peaceful nation, one spot above France, while the US is ranked 101st.
The least peaceful nations from the bottom of the index are Syria, Afghanistan, South Sudan, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Pakistan, North Korea and Russia.
Also, the definitive report on the world’s leading measure of national peacefulness cautions that the global economic impact of violence in 2013 came to $9.8 trillion, which amounts to a whopping 11.3% of global GDP or twice the size of the African GDP.
The annual index also shows that worldwide peace has deteriorated for the seventh year in a row, by $179 billion year-on-year, as a result of the conflicts in Syria, South Sudan and Central African Republic (CAR), tensions over Ukraine and increased terrorism in Afghanistan, Iraq, the Philippines and Libya.
“This is resulting in very real costs to the world economy; increases in the global economic impact of violence and its containment are equivalent to 19% of global economic growth from 2012 to 2013. To put this in perspective, this is around $1,350 per person. The danger is that we fall into a negative cycle: low economic growth leads to higher levels of violence, the containment of which produces lower economic growth,” said Steve Killelea, founder and Executive Chairman of the IEP.
While only 11 countries are described as being in absolute conflict, there are 500 million people in those nations – and 200 million of them live under $2 a day, he notes.
Further, the report notes that the ten countries most likely to deteriorate in peace in the next two years are Zambia, Haiti, Argentina, Chad, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Nepal, Burundi, Georgia, Liberia and Qatar. Thus, the Southern African nation of Zambia stands at the highest risk, with an 86% probability that it will lapse into violence.
Most significant is the number of people who could potentially drop below the $1.25 a day poverty line, should violence occur. The report forecasts that 5.5 million, 3.2 million and 1.5 million people could drop below the $1.25 poverty line in Chad, Angola and Kenya respectively in the face of disruptions.
The most peaceful region of the world continues to be Europe while the least peaceful region is South Asia.
South Sudan experienced the largest drop in the index this year falling to 160th and now ranks as the third least peaceful country. Major deteriorations also occurred in Egypt, Ukraine and Central African Republic.
On the other hand, Georgia showed the largest improvement in peace levels, as it gradually returns to normality following its 2011 conflict with Russia. Cote d’Ivoire recorded the second biggest improvement in the GPI 2014 with reductions in the likelihood of violent demonstrations and in the number of displaced persons.
The GPI is developed by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP) under the guidance of an international panel of independent experts with data collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU).
The Global Peace Index ranks 162 countries covering 99.6 percent of the world’s population. The Index gauges global peace using three themes: the level of safety and security in society; the extent of domestic or international conflict; and the degree of militarisation. It is composed of 22 indicators, ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the percentage of prison population.
The risk list is being released publicly for the first time, but researchers have tested the models using the past eight years of data in the Global Peace Index and have achieved a 90 per cent accuracy rate.