ONCE again Tanzania has shone in the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report, becoming this time the most peaceful nation in East Africa and the 7th in sub-Saharan Africa.
For years, Tanzania has maintained peace, which is important for the country’s development, including attracting both domestic and foreign direct investments.
The latest report, which was released by the Institute for Economic and Peace (IEP) this week, ranks Tanzania 54th out of the 163 surveyed countries across the world with Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Canada, Singapore, Slovenia, Japan and Czech Republic ranked as the most peaceful nations.
As Tanzania tops the list in the EAC region, it is followed by Rwanda, which is ranked second in EAC region, but occupies the 17th slot in sub-Saharan region.
Uganda is ranked third in the EAC bloc, but is ranked the 23rd in sub-Saharan Africa, while Kenya comes fourth, but is ranked the 28th and Burundi comes fifth, but takes the 36th slot, while South Sudan is ranked sixth in the EAC bloc, but the 44th in sub- Saharan Africa.
In the sub-Saharan region, countries that topped the list are Mauritius, Botswana, Malawi, Ghana, Zambia and Sierra Leone, while the least peaceful nations, according to GPI 2019, include Burundi, Chad, Cameroon, Mali, Nigeria, DR-Congo, Central African Republic, Somalia and South Sudan.
The 2019 GPI indicates that the world became more peaceful for the first time in five years, with the average level of country peacefulness improving slightly by 0.09 per cent.
According to the report, the increase in peacefulness is a result of a reduction in the severity of several major conflicts worldwide, which leads to decreases in deaths from internal conflict.
In the 2019 GPI, 86 countries improved, while 76 others deteriorated, with the global average GPI score improving by 0.09 per cent.
This is the highest number of countries to improve in peacefulness in a single year since the GPI 2013. The largest improvement was recorded for the militarisation domain, with 98 countries registering improvements in peace.
GIP 2019 shows that Iceland remains vthe 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, Austria, Portugal and Denmark.
Bhutan has recorded the largest improvement of any country in the top 20, rising 43 places in the last 12 years.
According to GPI 2019, Afghanistan is now the least peaceful country in the world, replacing Syria, which is now the second least peaceful. South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq comprise the remaining five least peaceful countries.
This is the first year since the inception of the index that Yemen has been ranked among the five least peaceful countries. Four of the nine regions in the world became more peaceful over the past year.
The greatest increase in peacefulness occurred in the Russia and Eurasia region, followed by the Middle East and North Africa. In both regions, the number of deaths from conflict declined, owing to the de-escalation of violence in Ukraine and Syria.
The fall in conflict deaths has been mirrored by a fall in deaths from terrorism. The Middle East and North Africa region remained the world’s least peaceful region.
It is home to four of the 10 least peaceful countries in the world, with no country from the region ranked higher than 30th in GPI 2019. Europe remains the most peaceful region in the world, and it recorded a very slight improvement in peacefulness after several years of deterioration.
Twentytwo of the 36 European countries recorded improvements. Peacefulness improved on average in both the safety and security and militarisation domains, with a small deterioration in the ongoing conflict domain.
According to the Gallup World Poll (GWP), “the past decade has seen increasing satisfaction regarding freedom in life, treatment with respect and satisfaction with standards of living.
These factors were measured using the following questions: Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your standard of living, all the things you can buy and do? In (this country), are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life? Were you treated with respect all day yesterday?”
On the other hand, “Even with improvements in certain aspects of wellbeing, feelings of sadness, worry and stress are on the rise globally… This increase in negative personal feelings more closely mirrors the change in actual levels of peacefulness. Experiences of sadness and worry increased across all regions in the past decade…Sub-Saharan Africa had the greatest increase in stress, increasing 18 percenta.