Ghana has been ranked the second most peaceful country in Africa behind Mauritius in the 2021 Global Peace Index report by the Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP).
The Ghana Peace Index is the world’s leading measure of global peacefulness. The index ranks 163 independent states and territories according to their level of peacefulness. This report presents the most comprehensive data-driven analysis to date on trends in peace, its economic value, and how to develop peaceful societies.
In the latest rankings, Ghana ranked 38th in the world out of a total of 163 countries reviewed. Ghana scored 1.715 which represents a two-point move upwards from the country’s previous position.
Mauritius, the most peaceful country in Africa ranked 28th globally, while Botswana ranked third place in Africa and 41st in the world. Nigeria ranked 146 globally behind Togo, Uganda, Kenya, The Republic of Congo and Cameroon.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country in the world, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the index by New Zealand, Denmark, Portugal, and Slovenia.
Afghanistan is the least peaceful country in the world for the fourth consecutive year, followed by Yemen, Syria, South Sudan, and Iraq. Burkina Faso recorded the largest deterioration in the Global Peace Index 2021.
According to the report, half of the population in Sub-Saharan Africa had a recent experience of violence. Those living in Namibia had the highest experience of violence in the world at 6 per cent.
South Sudan remains the least peaceful country in the region and one of the least peaceful countries in the world, despite an improvement in peacefulness in the 2021 index.
The largest deterioration in peacefulness in the region occurred in Burkina Faso. This was also the single largest deterioration of any country. The government’s decision to fund and arm civilian auxiliary groups in its fight against insurgents drove the plunge.
The report highlighted that civil unrest rose 10 per cent globally, driven by the coronavirus pandemic. There were 14,871 violent demonstrations, protests and riots recorded globally in 2020.
The report said Covid was a “multiplying force” in future political instability and civil unrest. It added the level of this unrest going forward is likely to hinge on the speed and effectiveness of economic recovery. Countries with less debt and higher levels of positive peace were more likely to recover faster.
Despite this, overall three-quarters of people globally feel as safe or safer today than they did five years ago. Some indicators of violence have recorded significant improvements since the start of the index, and 123 countries have seen murder rates fall since 2008.
The Index also revealed that “the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.07 per cent in the 2021 Global Peace Index. Although a relatively small deterioration, this is the ninth time in the last 13 years that global peacefulness has deteriorated”.
The report added that “in the past year, 87 countries recorded an improvement in peacefulness, while 73 countries recorded a deterioration. Three countries recorded no change in their overall score. The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region remained the world’s least peaceful region. It is home to three of the five least peaceful countries in the world. However, it recorded the largest regional improvement over the past year”.
“Europe…remains the most peaceful region in the world. The region is home to eight of the ten most peaceful countries, and no country in Europe is ranked outside the top half of the index”.