Dec 16, 2015
2015 UN HDR Report - African Analysis



On December 14 the United Nations released its 2015 Human Development Report, ranking all the nations of the world on the development of the human potential of their citizens. The criteria used were in income, education and health, and the specific indicators used in the calculation of the Human Development Index were (1) Life expectancy at birth (2) Mean years of schooling (adults over 25) (3) Expected mean years of schooling for minors (4) Gross National Income per capita. The two education indicators were combined to give a composite figure, and the mean of this and the other two indicators was calculated as the Human Development Index for each of the 188 countries surveyed. African countries occupy 24 out of the bottom 25 places.

Of these bottom 25, the countries with the weakest health indicator (life expectancy at birth) were Cote d'Ivoire (51.5 yrs), Sierra Leone (50.9 yrs) and Central African Republic (50.7 yrs). The countries with the poorest educational prospects for young people (expected years of schooling) were Eritrea (4.1 yrs), Niger (5.4 yrs) and Djibouti (6.4 yrs). The countries with the least educated adults (mean years of schooling) were Chad (1.9 yrs), Niger (1.5 yrs) and Burkina Faso (1.4 yrs). The poorest nationals, financially, (gross national income per capita) were those from Malawi ($747),  DRC ($680),  and Central African Republic ($581).

Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire, sometimes thought of as something of West African success stories, surprisingly feature in the bottom 20, below war-torn Sudan and South Sudan. Cote d'Ivoire scores poorly on health, whilst Senegal does badly on educational attainment.

2015 UN HDR Report - Bottom 25 (of 188)



Human Development Index (HDI) 
Life expectancy at birth
Expected years of schooling 
Mean years of schooling
Gross national income (GNI) per capita
Country Value
(years)
(years)
(years)
(2011 PPP $)

2014
2014
2014
2014
2014
Rwanda 0.483
64.2
10.3
3.7
1,458
Uganda 0.483
58.5
9.8
5.4
1,613
Benin 0.480
59.6
11.1
3.3
1,767
Sudan 0.479
63.5
7.0
3.1
3,809
Djibouti 0.470
62.0
6.4
3.8
3,276
South Sudan 0.467
55.7
7.6
5.4
2,332
Senegal 0.466
66.5
7.9
2.5
2,188
Afghanistan 0.465
60.4
9.3
3.2
1,885
Côte d'Ivoire 0.462
51.5
8.9
4.3
3,171
Malawi 0.445
62.8
10.8
4.3
747
Ethiopia 0.442
64.1
8.5
2.4
1,428
Gambia 0.441
60.2
8.8
2.8
1,507
Congo (Democratic Republic of the) 0.433
58.7
9.8
6.0
680
Liberia 0.430
60.9
9.5
4.1
805
Guinea-Bissau 0.420
55.2
9.0
2.8
1,362
Mali 0.419
58.0
8.4
2.0
1,583
Mozambique 0.416
55.1
9.3
3.2
1,123
Sierra Leone 0.413
50.9
8.6
3.1
1,780
Guinea 0.411
58.8
8.7
2.4
1,096
Burkina Faso 0.402
58.7
7.8
1.4
1,591
Burundi 0.400
56.7
10.1
2.7
758
Chad 0.392
51.6
7.4
1.9
2,085
Eritrea 0.391
63.7
4.1
3.9
1,130
Central African Republic 0.350
50.7
7.2
4.2
581
Niger 0.348
61.4
5.4
1.5
908






The top nine sub-Saharan countries, listed below, are placed in the Medium Development category. The appearance of the three Central African countries Gabon, Equatorial Guinea and Congo, often associated with ditatorship, corruption and conflict, appears at first surprising until one realizes that they have large oil revenues, yielding huge income per capita figures (particularly for Gabon and Equatorial Guinea). These countries have massively more revenue available to spend on health and education than the other subsaharan countries with which they are competing. Ghana and Cape Verde are the only West African countries in this top tier.






Top 9 Sub-Saharan Countries (of 188, HDI rank at left)



Human Development Index (HDI) 
Life expectancy at birth
Expected years of schooling 
Mean years of schooling
Gross national income (GNI) per capita

HDI rank Country Value
(years)
(years)
(years)
(2011 PPP $)



2014
2014
2014 a 2014 a 2014


MEDIUM HUMAN DEVELOPMENT
106 Botswana 0.698
64.5
12.5
8.9 e 16,646

110 Gabon 0.684
64.4
12.5 l 7.8 y 16,367

116 South Africa 0.666
57.4
13.6
9.9
12,122

122 Cabo Verde 0.646
73.3
13.5
4.7 r 6,094

126 Namibia 0.628
64.8
11.3
6.2 e 9,418

136 Congo 0.591
62.3
11.1
6.1 b 6,012

138 Equatorial Guinea 0.587
57.6
9.0 l 5.5 y 21,056

139 Zambia 0.586
60.1
13.5
6.6 e 3,734

140 Ghana 0.579
61.4
11.5
7.0
3,852


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