Mauritius has been ranked second in Africa after Libya on human development, with the two countries notching global ranks of 63rd and 55th respectively in the high human development category, out of 187 countries in all which were ranked on the Human Development Index (HDI) 2014.

The North African economy has a score of 0.784 on the HDI 2014, and was closely tailed by the island economy with a score of 0.771 on the index.

The United Nations released its Global 2014 Human development Report (HDR) entitled “Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Building Resilience,” on July 24, 2014.

The report, which has four different categories, namely very high human development, high human development, medium human development and low human development, set Mauritius under the second category, where it remains at the same position, 63rd, compared to 2013.

The report estimated Mauritius Gross national income (GNI) per capita (2011 ppp $) at 16,776.9, life expectancy at birth of 73.6 years and mean years of schooling at 8.5 years.

Ranked third in Africa, Seychelles was also categorized under the high human development countries after falling by two places between 2013 and 2014 to be set at the 71st position.

Tunisia and Algeria were ranked 4th and 5th in Africa under the high human development category whereas globally they were ranked at the 90th and 93rd place respectively.

South Africa, which was Africa’s biggest economy before being dethroned by Nigeria, was ranked 9th in Africa according to the HDR report and placed 118th worldwide under the medium human development category, improving by one place over last year.

Furthermore, the 2014 HDR shows that between 2000 and 2013, Sub-Saharan Africa had the second highest rate of progress in the Human Development Index (HDI), which combines achievements in income, health and education.

“Africa is enjoying higher levels of economic growth and well-being, but insecurity, as well as natural or human-induced disasters, persists in some parts of the region,” said Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, the Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.

In spite of this progress, Sub-Saharan Africa is the most unequal region in the world, according to UNDP’s Coefficient on Human Inequality.

With 77% of the population in vulnerable employment, many of them youth, the report calls on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa to adopt full employment policies and ensure that economic growth is employment-intensive, while paying special attention to the quality and security of the jobs created.

“The eradication of poverty is not just about ‘getting to zero’—it is also about staying there,” UNDP Administrator Helen Clark points out.

Thus, creating decent employment opportunities is critical to achieving substantive poverty reduction and social cohesion.

Acknowledging these challenges, it urges countries to transition from agriculture-based economies into industry and services, while supporting investments in infrastructure and education so that “modern formal employment gradually incorporates most of the workforce.”

Meanwhile, looking at the rest of the world, the Global Top 10 were Norway, Australia, Switzerland, Netherlands, US, Germany, New Zealand, Canada, Singapore and Denmark, with scores ranging from 0.944 to 0.900, with 1 being the highest possible score.

The 2014 Human Development report is the latest in the series of global Human Development Reports published by UNDP since 1990 as independent, empirically grounded analyses of major development issues, trends and policies.

Image (Reuters): The 2014 Human Development Report ‘Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerabilities and Enhancing Resilience’ was launched on 24 July in Tokyo by Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.

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