Ghana posts lowest year-to-year improvement in human development

Independence ArchGhana appears to be slowing down in human development and has posted its lowest rate of improvement yet in the United Nations Development Programme’s (UNDP) Human Development Index.

In the 2015 Human Development Index, Ghana, in the “medium human development” bracket, is ranked 140th out of 188 countries, with an index of 0.579, a meagre increase from 0.577 the previous year.

The Human Development Index measures the average achievement of a country between 0 and 1, in key dimensions of human development: health and life expectancy, education and knowledge and a decent standard of living.

According to the UNDP, the Index which it computes from a life expectancy index, education index and income index, was created “to emphasize that people and their capabilities should be the ultimate criteria for assessing the development of a country, not economic growth alone.”

As with many other countries, Ghana’s performance in human development, as captured by the Index, has been on an upward trajectory since the Index’s inception in 1990.

However, Ghana’s current improvement and index, is the lowest the country has made on any year, from 0.577 in the previous year.

The report also shows Ghana has a lower Inequality Adjusted Human Development Index of 3.87, indicating a percentage loss of 33.1 per cent if the index is adjusted to factor inequality.

According to the UNDP, the Inequality Adjusted Human Development Index, which factors inequality, is the actual level of human development.

“This new global Human Development Report is an urgent call to tackle one of the world’s great development challenges – providing enough decent work and livelihoods for all”, Helen Clark, UNDP Administrator said.

Norway leads the ranking in human development, with an index of 0.944, followed by Australia with 0.935 and Switzerland with 0.930.

They are followed by Denmark, Netherlands and Germany in 6th place.

No African country is among the 49 countries considered to have “very high human development.”

The highest African countries get is the “high human development” bracket – Mauritius in 63rd with 0.777 and Seychelles in 64th with 0.772

About 35 of the 44 countries in the “low human development” bracket are African countries and the bottom 17 countries are all African countries.

By Emmanuel Odonkor

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