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: