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Africa: Global Peace Index

AfricaFocus Bulletin
Jun 12, 2007 (070612)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

A new Global Peace Index, researched by the Economist Intelligence Unit and based on 24 indicators of both international and domestic "peacefulness," includes 121 countries, 21 of them in Africa, for which data was available. The United States ranked 96th, between Yemen and Iran, while South Africa ranked 99th, between Honduras and the Philippines.

The five top ranked African countries were Tunisia, Ghana, Madagascar, Botswana, and Morocco; while the lowest five included were Sudan, Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire, Angola, and Algeria. African countries not ranked included a number with serious internal conflict, including Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains excerpts from Global Peace Index reports, including general background, rankings, and a discussion paper on peace and sustainability. For more information, visit

The ten top-ranked countries on the Global Peace Index were Norway, New Zealand, Denmark, Ireland, Japan, Finald, Sweden, Canada, Portugal, Austria. The ten lowest-ranked countries, beginning with the lowest, were Iraq, Sudan, Israel, Russia, Nigeria, Colombia, Pakistan, Lebanon, Côte d'Ivoire, and Angola.

Only 21 African countries were included, because of lack of data.for others. The rankings of those countries that were included, compared to the rankings of the G-8 group of rich countries, is as follows:

5. Japan, 8. Canada, 12. Germany, 33. Italy, 34. France, 39. Tunisia, 40. Ghana, 41. Madagascar, 42. Botswana, 48. Morocco, 49. United Kingdom, 50.Mozambique, 53. Zambia, 56. Gabon, 57. Tanzania, 58. Libya, 64. Namibia, 65. Senegal, 68. Malawi, 71. Equatorial Guinea, 73. Egypt, 76. Cameroon, 91. Kenya, 96. United States of America, 99. South Africa, 103. Ethiopia, 104. Uganda, 106. Zimbabwe, 107. Algeria, 112. Angola, 113. Côte d'Ivoire, 117. Nigeria, 118. Russia, 120. Sudan

For previous AfricaFocus Bulletin on peace and related issues, visit


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Vision of Humanity Global Peace Index

The Vision of Humanity website was launched in May 2007 as the reference point for the Global Peace Index (GPI) and to highlight the relationship between Global Peace and Sustainability. It is our very firm belief that unless we can achieve a world which is basically peaceful, then the major challenges facing humanity will not be solved. The question is: How will we achieve the global co-operation necessary to reverse global warming, loss of bio-diversity, provide adequate drinking water and a sustainable population without peace?

The project was developed by a group of committed individuals who have the support of a group of philanthropists, business people, politicians, religious leaders and intellectuals.

The Global Peace Index aims to:

  1. Highlight to the general population the relative position of nations' and regions' peacefulness;
  2. Catalyse philanthropic support for further research of peace and funding of peace initiatives;
  3. Serve as a foundation for primary, secondary and tertiary educational study;
  4. Emphasise the need for governments to consider the drivers of peace in policy decisions.

The Global Peace Index has been developed in conjunction with:

  • The Economist Intelligence Unit
  • an international panel of peace experts from Peace Institutes and Think Tanks
  • the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies, University of Sydney, Australia

Global Peace Index

Executive Summary

Steve Killelea, an international businessman and philanthropist, in conjunction with an international team of academics, businesspeople, philanthropists and peace institutions, has initiated an innovative project to compile a Global Peace Index (GPI), ranking 121 nations according to their relative states of peace. Mr Killelea commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit to assist with the project, asking them to take the lead in developing the methodology underlying the index, and collecting the required data. A team of international peace experts also provided valuable input.

The Global Peace Index is composed of 24 indicators, ranging from a nation's level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights. The index has been tested against a range of potential "drivers" or determinants of peace - including levels of democracy and transparency, education and material wellbeing. The team has used the latest available figures (mainly 2004-06) from a wide range of respected sources, including the International Institute of Strategic Studies, the World Bank, and various UN offices and Peace Institutes. Steve Killelea and his team hope that this project will contribute significantly to the public debate on peace. For more information on the Global Peace Index, including more detail on the results, methodology and potential uses, please visit

Asked to evaluate the state of world peace in 2007, many might despair at humanity's seeming insatiable appetite for conflict, pointing to the ongoing bloodbath in Iraq, genocide in Darfur, civil wars in previously stable Nepal and C“te d'Ivoire and the rise in international terrorism since September 11th 2001. However, a deeper analysis reveals that the number of armed conflicts throughout the world - both international and civil wars - has decreased dramatically since the end of the Cold War in 1990, although interstate warfare has picked up again since 2002. The fact that this statistic is little known is indicative of how the study of peace has failed to make a significant impact across the world's media.

This has been part of the motivation behind the compilation of the Global Peace Index (GPI). The project's ambition is to go beyond a crude measure of wars and systematically explore the texture of peace. The hope is that it will provide a quantitative measure of peace, comparable over time, that will provide a greater understanding of the mechanisms that nurture and sustain peace. This, in turn, will provide a new platform for further study and discussion, which will hopefully inspire and influence world leaders and governments to further action.

The concept of peace is notoriously difficult to define. The simplest way of approaching it is in terms of harmony achieved by the absence of war or conflict. Applied to nations,this would suggest that those not involved in violent conflicts with neighbouring states or suffering internal wars would have achieved a state of peace. This is what Johan Galtung defined as a "negative peace"- an absence of violence. The concept of negative peace is immediately intuitive and empirically measurable, and can be used as a starting point to elaborate its counterpart concept, "positive peace": having established what constitutes an absence of violence, is it possible to identify which structures and institutions create and maintain peace?

The Global Peace Index is a first step in this direction; a measurement of peace that seeks to determine what cultural attributes and institutions are associated with states of peace. ,,,

Defining Peace

The difficulties in defining the concept of peace may partly explain why there have been so few attempts to measure states of peace across nations.

This project has approached the task on two fronts - the first aim is to produce a scoring model and global peace index that ranks 121 nations by their relative states of peace using 24 indicators. The indicators have been selected as being the best available datasets that reflect the incidence or absence of peace, and contain both quantitative data and qualitative scores from a range of trusted sources. The second aim is to use the underlying data and results from the Global Peace Index to begin an investigation into the relative importance of a range of potential determinants or "drivers" that may influence the creation and nurturance of peaceful societies, both internally and externally.

The Research Team

As with all indexes of this type, there are issues of bias and arbitrariness in the factors that are chosen to assess peace and, even more seriously, in assigning weights to the different indicators (measured on a comparable and meaningful scale) to produce a single synthetic measure. In order to minimise these risks, the choices of indicators and the weights assigned to them have been decided upon following close and extensive consultation with an international panel of experts.

Professor Kevin P Clements - Panel Chair
Director, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPCS)
University of Queensland, Australia

Professor Daniel Druckman
Visiting scholar, Australian Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies (ACPCS)
University of Queensland, Australia

Paul van Tongeren
Executive Director, Global Partnership for the Prevention of Armed Conflict (GPPAC),
The Netherlands

Emeritus Professor Stuart Rees
Sydney Peace Foundation,
University of Sydney, Australia

Dr Manuela Mesa
Director, Peace Research Center (Centro de Investigación para la Paz, CIP-FUHEM) & President, Asociación Española de Investigación para la Paz (AIPAZ), Spain

Professor Andrew Mack
Director, Human Security Centre,
University of British Columbia, Canada

Alyson JK Bailes
Director, Stockholm International Peace
Research Institute (SIPRI), Sweden

Dan Smith
Author, in a private capacity

Associate Professor Mohammed Abu-Nimer
School of International Service,
American University, Washington DC, USA

Measuring States of Peace: The indicators


[The indicators and the weights were]

Indicator Weight (1 to 5)

Internal Peace 60%
External Peace 40%

Level of distrust in other citizens 4
No. of internal security officers and police per 100,000 people 3
No. of homicides per 100,000 people 4
No. of jailed population per 100,000 people 3
Ease of access to weapons of minor destruction 3
Level of organised conflict (internal) 5
Likelihood of violent demonstrations 3
Level of violent crime 4
Political instability 4
Respect for human rights 4
Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons, as recipient (imports) per 100,000 people 2
Potential for terrorist acts 1
No. of deaths from organised conflict (internal) 5
Military expenditure as a percentage of GDP 2
No. of armed services personnel per 100,000 people 2
UN Deployments 2006-07 (percentage of total forces) 2
Non-UN Deployments 2006-07 (percentage of total forces) 4
Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people 3
Volume of transfers of major conventional weapons as supplier (exports) per 100,000 people 3
Military capability/sophistication 2
No.of displaced people as a percentage of the population 4
Relations with neighbouring countries 5
No. of external and internal conflicts fought: 2000-05 5
Estimated number of deaths from organised conflict (external) 5

Global Peace Index Rankings

This section lists the results of the analysis into each nation's peace. This is the prime table in the Global Peace Index section. The countries are ranked from most peaceful to least peaceful, highlighting their ranking as well as their score.

[Addition by AfricaFocus. G8 countries are marked with && before the name, African countries are marked with ++ before the name]

1. Norway
2. New Zealand
3. Denmark
4. Ireland
&&5. Japan
6. Finland
7. Sweden
&&8. Canada
9. Portugal
10. Austria

11. Belgium
&&12. Germany
13. Czech Republic
14. Switzerland
15. Slovenia
16. Chile
17. Slovakia
18. Hungary
19. Bhutan
20. Netherlands

21. Spain
22. Oman
23. Hong Kong
24. Uruguay
25. Australia
26. Romania
27. Poland
28. Estonia
29. Singapore
30. Qatar

31. Costa Rica
32. South Korea
&&33. Italy
&&34. France
35. Vietnam
36. Taiwan
37. Malaysia
38. United Arab Emirates
++39. Tunisia
++40. Ghana

++41. Madagascar
++42. Botswana
43. Lithuania
44. Greece
45. Panama
46. Kuwait
47. Latvia
++48. Morocco
&&49. United Kingdom

51. Cyprus
52. Argentina
++53. Zambia
54. Bulgaria
55. Paraguay
++56. Gabon
++57. Tanzania
++58. Libya
59. Cuba
60. China

61, Kazakhstan
62. Bahrain
63. Jordan
++64. Namibia
++65. Senegal
66. Nicaragua
67. Croatia
++68. Malawi
69. Bolivia
70. Peru

++71. Equatorial Guinea
72. Moldova
++73. Egypt
74. Dominican Republic
75. Bosnia and Hercegovina
++76. Cameroon
77. Syria
78. Indonesia
79. Mexico
80. Ukraine

81. Jamaica
82. Macedonia
83. Brazil
84. Serbia
85. Cambodia
86. Bangladesh
87. Ecuador
88. Papua New Guinea
89. El Salvador
90. Saudi Arabia

++91. Kenya
92. Turkey
93. Guatemala
94. Trinidad and Tobago
95. Yemen
&&96. United States of America
97. Iran
98. Honduras
99. South Africa
100. Philippines

101. Azerbaijan
102. Venezuela
++103. Ethiopia
++104. Uganda
105. Thailand
++106. Zimbabwe
++107. Algeria
108. Myanmar
109. India
110. Uzbekistan

111. Sri Lanka
++112. Angola
++113. Cote d'Ivoire
114. Lebanon
115. Pakistan
116. Colombia
++117. Nigeria
&&118. Russia
119. Israel
++120. Sudan
121. Iraq

Peace and Sustainability:
Cornerstones to survival in the 21st century

Discussion Paper, May 2007

Vision of Humanity

Executive Summary

The aim of this document is to create discussion around the role of peace and its relationship to sustainability. It uses the groundbreaking research done by the EIU on the Global Peace Index to highlight peace research and to create further debate around the relationship of peace, economics and business.

Peace is one of the most powerful and well used words in every language. However, the notion of peace, and its value in the world economy, is not well understood. Historically, peace has been seen as something won by war, or else as an altruistic ideal. There are competing definitions of peace, and most research into peace is, in fact, the study of violent conflict. It difficult to understand what we can't measure and without measurements, it is equally difficult to know whether our actions actually help or hinder the achievement of our goals.

The Global Peace Index is a ground breaking milestone in the study of peace. It is the first time that an index has been created that will rank 120 nations of the world by their peacefulness. Nations are ranked by measuring their 'absence of violence', using metrics that combine both internal and external factors associated with the peacefulness of a nation. Absence of violence is a concept that most people can relate to as being indicative of peace. By measuring the internal peacefulness of a nation, better understanding will emerge of what they can do to improve their peace.

Additionally, there are identifiable structural conditions that create or sustain peace. Having established a Global Peace Index other social development indictors can now be run against the Index to determine how closely aligned these indicators maybe. This will now allow societies to better understand what drivers help to create or sustain more peaceful societies.


Although many people would feel that the prospects are bleak, the reality is that wars and internal conflicts have fallen substantially in the last 25 years.

The first Human Security Report found that the number of armed conflicts has declined since the early 1990's by 40%, additionally genocides and political killings also declined from 1988 to 2001 by 80% and international crises fell by more than 70% between 1981 and 2001. Since 2001 some of the gains have been lost, but these figures do give hope that humanity can work towards solving its conflicts without resorting to violence. Work needs to be done to reverse the slippage of the last couple of years and to improve on the gains of the late 20th century.


The number of conflicts currently running is still substantial and the number of people affected directly or indirectly from war is very high.

If we cannot solve these major challenges facing humanity, it will not only be the nations directly affected that will suffer. Nations unaffected directly by wars or major environmental disasters will also suffer significant economic loss. The nations of the world are more dependent on the health of each other, economically, financially and ecologically, than at any stage in history.

A Global Economic Model Inclusive of Peace

We have become accustomed to viewing economics from a national perspective. Most individuals have some knowledge of how the economics of a nation operate. Very few individuals would argue that some services need to be delivered by government. However, the same is not true of the global economy or the services that should be provided globally. Peace and sustainability should be viewed as key global services that need to be provided for the common good of humanity.

A national economy cannot operate effectively without the provision of public goods or services. So, too, the global market economy cannot be efficient without global public goods or services. Examples of national public goods and services are infrastructure development, education, public health and economic stimulus. Examples of global goods and services are peacekeeping and peace building, development aid and environmental regulation.

It could be argued that the under-provision of global public goods and services occurs for much the same reason as at a national level. As Adam Smith noted in 1776 regarding nations 'they may be of the highest degree of advantage to a great society, however the profits could never repay the expenses to any individual or group of individuals'. Similarly, what is good for the citizens that comprise the nations of the globe cannot be at the expense of the citizens of any one nation or group of nations.

Although the greatest economic good for all citizens is global peace and sustainability, some citizens of any one nation may benefit from the destructive forces unleashed in another nation, or even their own.

Global public response is therefore necessary to fill the gaps left by national responses, just as national public response fills the gaps left by individuals or collections of individuals. The resulting benefits are not just economic. They may result in greater security without fear, healthier lives and an environment that can sustain more lives.

If we look within the most peaceful nations of the world, there are many attributes of these societies that create their richness which would hold true in creating a global civil society. An international rule of law or a global system of justice is essential to economic growth that will benefit all nations, their citizens and the businesses that operate within their borders. The proposed International Criminal Court, which aims to enforce crimes against humanity, is a foundation. The role of global law needs to be extended to persons, property and contract.

Global institutions will evolve as humanity and the leaders of humanity realize that the survival of their civilizations revolve around the dynamics of global sustainability and peace. Sustainability cannot be achieved without peace.

Economic Benefits of Peace

Some ground-breaking research has been undertaken in this area, although work on the economic benefits of peace is in its infancy. The economic benefits of peacekeeping and peace building are not well understood. According to Collier and Hoeffler, 2004, a typical civil war in a developing country costs at least US$64 billion dollars. This exceeded the annual global Official Development Assistance in 2004, a significant part of which was committed to post-conflict reconstruction. Secondly, economic activity is inhibited by high transaction costs associated with weak security of person and property. Private investment falls and is distorted away from employmentgenerating activities towards quick turnaround activities. This is the natural consequence of uncertainty: risk greatly increases even over a short period time.

Additionally, conflict over scarce resources increases the scarcity of these resources. This may occur through events that destroy the infrastructure that extracts these resources, lack of adequate capital investment into the resources being fought over and the difficulty of transferring the goods to market in a conflict area. The uncertainty of future supply will also build a premium into the cost of the resource. The sustainability debate takes on new dimensions when conflict scenarios are taken to their logical conclusion. As natural resources such as timber and fresh water become scarce, conflict to control these resources will degrade the resources ever further. This, combined with the uncertainty premium, will drive costs higher.


The finite level of resources and the effects of the consumption of these resources on the sustainability of our habitat lead to the inevitable question of how to fund global public goods and services to avoid conflict and economically reward sustainable practices. It should be noted that the economies of the rich nations have more than doubled in the last thirty years, yet they are spending a substantially smaller proportion of their GDP apparent that the resources necessary to fund public global goods and services are available. What is lacking is political will.

As with the maintenance of any asset, the cost of repair accelerates over time when adequate maintenance is not performed. Similarly, environmental damage works in the same way except that resources such as old growth forests and coral reefs have longer lead times to recovery.

By initiating public global goods and services to fund peace building, development aid and conservation, future costs can be alleviated by early action.

AfricaFocus Bulletin is an independent electronic publication providing reposted commentary and analysis on African issues, with a particular focus on U.S. and international policies. AfricaFocus Bulletin is edited by William Minter.

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