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Zimbabwe ranked 131th on Global Peace Index

By Almot Maqolo

Zimbabwe is now ranked 131th among the least peaceful countries in the world, according to a report by Global Peace Index (GPI).In its report for 2020, GPI said the southern African nation moved one place up from 132 in 2019. Zimbabwe’s 2020 Index score stood at 2.485.

Zimbabwe occupies 32th position out of the 44 countries assessed for their peacefulness in sub-Saharan Africa – just 12 positions above war-torn South Sudan which is the least peaceful country in the region. In 2019, it was ranked 34th in the region with a score of 2.463.

Sub-Saharan Africa recorded a slight fall in peacefulness on the 2020 GPI, with an overall score deterioration of 0.5%. However, twenty countries in the region improved in peacefulness while 24 deteriorated. “Disputes over election results and demands for political change have led to civil unrest and political instability in several countries across the region, with violent protests breaking out in many countries over the past year,” reads the report.

The region’s three largest improvers in peacefulness in the last year were South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and Equatorial Guinea, all of which recorded improvements of more than 6%. Both South Africa and Cote d’Ivoire improved across all three GPI domains, while Equatorial Guinea substantially improved on the Militarisation domain.

The report noted that civil unrest in sub-Saharan Africa rose by more than 800%, from 32 riots and protests in 2011 to 292 in 2018. The increase was mostly driven by events occurring after 2015. Sub-Saharan Africa had the highest proportion of violent demonstrations, with riots making up 42.6% of total events.

Nigeria accounted for the largest number of demonstrations and the largest increase. In 2018 the number of demonstrations rose from six to 79 in a single year. In South Africa, there was an 86% increase in civil unrest from 2011 to 2018, with most of the increase occurring in 2017 and 2018.

The global economic impact of violence was $14.5 trillion PPP in 2019, equivalent to 10.6% of global GDP or $1 909 per person. But, the global economic impact of violence improved for the second year in a row, declining by 0.2% or $29 billion from 2018 to 2019. It is $1.25 trillion higher than what is was in 2012. This was attributed to the decline in the impact of Armed Conflict particularly in the Middle East and North Africa region.

As for Zimbabwe, economic cost of violence was $2.36 million and 13% of GDP in 2019.

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