Post-COVID, what are the best-performing nations and the most developed countries in Africa according to the latest Human Development Index?
The latest Human Development Report, assessing the performance of countries around the world titled “Uncertain Times, Unsettled Lives: Shaping our Future in a Transforming World,” was released on Thursday, September 8, 2022, by the UNDP.
Human Development Index 2022
The Human Development Index (HDI), published annually by UNDP, measures a nation’s health, education and standard of living. A country scores a higher level of HDI when the lifespan is higher, the education level is higher and the gross national income GNI (PPP) per capita is higher.
The HDI is expressed as a figure ranging from 0 to 1. Categories are assigned to each country accordingly: “Low Human Development” (0-0.55), “Medium Human Development” (0.55-0.69), “High Human Development” (0.7-0.79) and “Very High Human Development” (0.8-1).
The index overall has fallen for the last two years – the first time since it was launched 32 years ago – due to the pandemic, stalling global economic growth and the effects of climate change.
“This drop is almost universal but also deepening. If you track the historical HDI, every year some countries see a decline but no more than 10% so less than 20 countries, but this year’s decline is a global shock. More than 40% of these countries have two consecutive years of decline,” the report published on Thursday said.
“Human development has fallen back to its 2016 levels, reversing much of the progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals. Without a sharp change, of course, we may be heading towards even more deprivations and injustice.”
Switzerland ranked first in the index mainly due to a rise in life expectancy and a rebound in its income per capita. It was followed by Norway and Iceland while Niger, Chad and South Sudan had the lowest HDI score
Most Developed African countries 2022
Below is a table of Sub-Sahara African countries ranked according to their UNDP’s Human Development Index (HDI) for 2021;
|Africa Rank||Country||World Rank||HDI 2021||Classification|
|8||Sao Tome and Principe||138||0.618||Medium|
|10||Eswatini (Kingdom of)||144||0.597||Medium|
|21||Tanzania (United Republic of)||160||0.549||Low|
|36||Congo (Democratic Republic of the)||179||0.479||Low|
|43||Central African Republic||188||0.404||Low|
Ghana ranked 7th in Africa
Ghana jumped up 3 places to 133rd globally, and 7th in Africa according to the 2021-2022 Human Development Index report.
According to the report, Ghana had a human development classification of “medium” scoring 0.632 in 2021.
Between 1990 and 2021, Ghana’s HDI value changed from 0.460 to 0.632, a change of 37.74 per cent.
Although there has been an improvement in Ghana’s ratings in the HDI, Ghanaians have found it difficult over the past few years to make ends meet. The country is experiencing a record level of inflation , which stands at around 31 per cent for 14 straight months in July 2022, the highest since December 2003, and a record drop in purchasing power due to the depreciation of the cedi against foreign