An analysis of Africa’s best 10 countries, according to the latest Legatum Institute Prosperity Index, reveals a continent on the right path to prosperity. The special report titled Insight on Africa, shows that economic growth, improving health standards and greater foreign and domestic investment are having a positive impact on prosperity in Africa.
The report reveals a significant drop for Mali and Malawi, now ranking outside of the top 10. In East Africa, Rwanda has been the best performing while Uganda improved two places, ranking 16 out of the 38 countries surveyed. Kenya, East African’s largest economy dropped one place to rank 18 in the region while Tanzania had the biggest fall, ranking 19 from 11 last year.
Need for reforms
However, to continue their progress African states need to undertake further reforms, build better institutions, and improve education and infrastructure. It warns that the fact that 40 per cent of the continent’s population being youth possess both a risk and opportunity for development. “But the effects of this ‘youth bulge’ will not all be positive. There is a danger that young Africans will become frustrated at the limited economic opportunities available to them,” reads the report.
With the exceptions of Botswana, Rwanda and Angola, the report notes that a vast majority of sub-Saharan African citizens, in particular in West Africa, feel their country is not doing enough to address poverty. For example, according to Prosperity Index data, 92 per cent feel this way in Cote d’Ivoire, while the figure is nearly 90% in both Guinea and Togo.
The London-based public policy Institute projects that the competition over land and natural resources will most commonly spill over into conflict due to mismanagement. On average, according to the 2013 Legatum Prosperity Index, three-quarters of the African population perceive their environment as being good for entrepreneurs. However, despite the hopes of donors and anti-corruption campaigners, there has been no noticeable change in corruption levels in the past five years in Africa.
In Uganda, the relatively low level of political constraints on the executive (Uganda places just 22 in Africa out of 38) on this measure of governance—may jeopardise development of the country’s nascent energy sector.
The report ranks 38 countries in the continent based on their overall level of prosperity according to national wealth and wellbeing in eight sub-categories. It investigates changing demographics, safety, and corruption in the continent, as well as assessing Africa’s performance against the Millennium Development Goals.
The report is to be launched today at the African Leadership Network’s annual conference “The Gathering” in Mauritius. Botswana leads the African rankings, scoring well in both the governance and the entrepreneurship and Opportunity sub-indices.
Rwanda has experienced a jump from 13th to 9th in the rankings this year, with strong scores in Entrepreneurship and Opportunity, Governance, and Health. The Index reveals cause for concern for Mali, however, falling from 8 to 13 in ranking. The path to prosperity also remains long for Malawi, which has seen a huge fall from 9 to 21 this year.
Nathan Gamester, Programme Director for the Legatum Prosperity Index said: “Our latest report shows that there is reason for cautious optimism in Africa. The potential for development and growth across the world’s most dynamic continent is enormous.”