For the first time in five years, overall global peacefulness increased in 2019, but the world is still less peaceful than it was 10 years ago, cites this year’s Global Peace Index (GPI) released by the Australia-based Institute for Economics and Peace.
Every year, since 2007, the GPI has been presenting the most comprehensive data-driven analysis of trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.
This year’s index measures the peacefulness of 163 countries by rating each one on 23 qualitative and quantitative metrics, which are divided into three categories: the level of Societal Safety and Security; the extent of Ongoing Domestic and International Conflict; and the degree of Militarisation.
The 2019 index said that despite some improvements made in terms of global peacefulness, the world remains considerably less peaceful now than a decade ago, with the average level of peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78 per cent since 2008.
It said the fall in peacefulness over the past decade was caused by a wide range of factors, including increased terrorist activity, the intensification of conflicts in the Middle East, rising regional tensions in Eastern Europe and northeast Asia, and increasing numbers of refugees and heightened political tensions in Europe and the U.S.
Iceland maintained its top spot since 2008 as the most peaceful country in the world followed by New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, and Denmark respectively. At the bottom is Afghanistan which replaced Syria as the least peaceful country in the world.
In sub-Saharan Africa, the index showed that 27 of the region’s 44 countries deteriorated in peacefulness, however, the following countries made major improvements: Rwanda, The Gambia, Djibouti, Eswatini, and Somalia.
Meanwhile, the top most peaceful countries in the Sub-Saharan African region were found to be more peaceful than most countries in Europe including the United Kingdom; and the United States of America.
Here’s how Africa’s five most peaceful countries fared:
Mauritius maintained its top position in Africa as the most peaceful in the continent while ranking 24th globally. Despite going down four places in its global ranking, the country ranked ahead of Italy, England, France and the United States.
Botswana also maintained its position as the second most peaceful country in the region despite going down by a place – 30th position globally as compared to 29th last year.
Ranking 40th globally, Malawi is the third most peaceful country in Africa. The country rose four places compared to last year’s Index where it was placed 44th in the world and 7th in Africa.
The West African country moved up by a place to become the fourth most peaceful country in Africa, replacing Madagascar. It, however, moved down by three places as it ranked 44th globally as compared to last year’s 41st position in the world.
As the fifth most peaceful African country, Zambia rose three places compared to last year’s index where it was placed eighth in Africa. Its global ranking was 48th.