Malawi ahead of Nigeria in Africa prosperity index: Good score on governance, poor economy and worsening corruption  -Legatum study

The Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank’s Africa prosperity index, published on Wednesday, indicates that  Malawi has dropped four places ranked at number 24th most prosperous African country,  ahead of  Nigeria – Africa’s biggest economy – at 26th rank.

Malawi falls four places on the Legatum Africa prosperity index
Malawi falls four places on the Legatum Africa prosperity index
Prosperity index
Prosperity index

The  Legatum Institute’s Africa prosperity index,  measures the human and economic prosperity of nations by eight subindexes , governance, economy, opportunity, freedom, health, education and security, as well as social bonds.

The amount of money a country has is one factor of prosperity, but the Legatum Institute considers more than that in its ranking,  according to a report (pdf)..

The organisation compares 89 variables to come up with its list. These variables include traditional indicators like per capita gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work as well as more interesting figures such as the number of secure internet servers a country has and how well rested people feel on a day-to-day basis.

The index looked at the African countries that have the most available data.

The survey shows that Malawi best performance is in the Governance sub-index, where it ranks24th in the continent with good indicators in rule of law,  political rights and regulation quality.

However, there were concerns of “widespread” corruption.

Malawi’s lowest rank is in the Economy sub-index. This dimension measures classic aspects of the economy like GDP, unemployment, inflation and foreign direct investment.

The southern African nation has also performed badly in other Prosperity Index rates, including education, health, business and social capital.

Augustine Chipungu, Research Analyst -at the Legatum Institute, said: “The 2016 Africa Report sought to determine what level of prosperity African countries  can and should be expected to deliver given their level of wealth. This was done by assessing their level of wealth (GDP per capita), and modelling it against their score in the Prosperity Index.”

He said :The difference between what they delivered, and expectation – the Prosperity Index gap – showed us which countries over-delivered i.e. which countries delivered more prosperity than expected given their wealth, and which under-delivered i.e. which countries delivered less prosperity than expected given their wealth.

“The results found that wealth is neither necessary nor sufficient for the improvement of prosperity delivery.”

Alexandra Mousavizadeh, a top economist and director of the Lengatum Prosperity Index,  urges policy makers to take the finding of the report and “reflect on the state of the fundamental cornerstone of prosperity delivery at home.”

South Africa has been ranked the most prosperous country in the African continent followed by  Botswana and Morocco

Ghana with poor economic rating is on number 9, though doing well in entrepreneurship and  opportunity.

The study found that some African countries are much better at creating prosperity than others, and this is disproportionate to the amount of wealth they have.

Researchers gave the example of Rwanda, which despite having a third of the wealth of oil-rich Angola, has been far more successful at creating a prosperous society and  is the most improved country since 2009 rising 10 ranks within Africa .

War-torn Central African Republic (CAR)  is the least prosperous country in Africa, whose best rank in the sub-indexes was in personal freedom.

Chad and Burundi also join CAR in the least prosperous countries in Africa. Others being the Democratic Republic of Congo,  Sudan, oil –rich Angola,  Liberia, Guinea, Togo and Zimbabwe.

Despite Africa enjoying high growth rates – averaging 5.5% in the last decade alone- the continent has been outpaced in prosperity delivery when compared to other developing countries in Europe and Asia, the survey revealed.

In addition, the continent has also been outpaced in other key targets. For example, in 1990, the number of people living below US$1.90 in East Asia was 60.6%, whilst in Sub-Saharan Africa, it was 56.8%. By 2012, this figure was 42.7% in Sub-Saharan and 7.2% in East Asia.

This is reflected in the Prosperity Index where the median rank for Sub-Saharan Africa is 98.5, whilst in Asia, it is 57.

Yvonne Mhango, an economist at Renaissance Capital,  is quoted in The Guardian newspaper of UK saying the African continent needed several more years of significant growth – “4%-5% at the very least” – for wealth to start trickling down. Also, growth is not the be-all and end-all, she said.

“It seems counterintuitive, but what I’ve observed in the continent [is] that there’s no substitute for governance. It doesn’t matter what commodity a country is producing and at what price it’s selling – if they don’t have the right leaders in place that are putting forward the right policies, you will not see that trickle down to the people,” Mhango said.

She noted that some of the wealthiest countries on paper have some of the most abjectly poor people on the continent.

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Winston Msowoya
Winston Msowoya
6 years ago

A good leader will come to Malawi if we stop voting ethnically,you have now paid a brutal price for that.There are myriad of brilliant and focused Malawians who would be of tremendous benefit to the whole nation and not only to his tribesmen and women.Quata system has been in effect close to 30 years,but has not produced relevant personnel or intellectual base to help hasten our political and economic development.We have tremendous natural resources to add to our ability in building strong economy.As one brother has indicated,it is totally disappointing to note that Rwanda one of the poorest nations in… Read more »

Khuduza Kaluselela
Khuduza Kaluselela
6 years ago

Malawi will remain in this state of hopelessness for many years to come for the simple reason that mediocrity reigns in all levels of society. We suffer serious leadership deformities. The current leadership is so deficient to drive society beyond mundane thinking that can generate forces of genuine development. This leadership deficiency also embodies quality of its followers. We are a people who are so content with our poverty circumstances that we generally cherish the fact that we are amongst the poorest in the world. This poverty doesn’t only manifest itself in material wealth but in our thinking capabilities too.… Read more »

6 years ago

Mwanena mwene, ndi APM ife 2 more steps backwards. What does God want to teach us in giving us this dunderhead for a leader? We implore you, dear Lord, give us a good leader NOW!

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