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Sunday, 3 June 2007

Another reason to look at Zambia....

The Economist Magazine this week lauched a study ranking 121 nations by their 'absence of violence.' The 24 indicators include internal and external factors such as levels of violence within a country, organized crime, the number of people in prison, and military expenditure.

A number of Nobel laureates, including one of my favorites Joseph Stiglitz, backed the study which puts Zambia as the 6th most peaceful nation in Africa, and 53rd overall. If investors are looking at these sorts of stuff and wondering where their investments would be safer in Africa, I think the index says Zambia is the place to be - don't you? For a complete ranking click here.


  1. Interesting stats...not suprising Iraq is at the bottom. I think the United States to should close to the bottom for insunuating most of the violence in the world.

  2. While I applaud the motivation behind the list, and can certainly understand why it is backed by reputable observers like Stiglitz, I wonder about the accuracy and relative weight of some of the metrics used.

    For example, I was a bit shocked to see that there are zero paramilitaries in both Ireland and the UK. I am sure they will be pleased that the IRA and Ulster Unionists have relocated offshore (perhaps to one of these newly discovered planets I have heard about). The Irish were also given a 1 for "willingness to fight" which in my experience in Dublin pubs is a statement liable to cause a melee (incidentally Iraq also earned a 1, while the US was given a 2, Serbia a 3, Cote D'Ivoire a 4, and Israel a 5).

    I also agree with the previous comment that the US ranking would be much lower if their ratings for areas like "Non-UN Deployments" and "Military capability/sophistication" were permitted to go above 5 (something equal to all other countries combined is often asserted). I think that even most americans would be shocked that the rating for "Aggregate number of heavy weapons per 100,000 people" is 1. I can only assume that stealth bombers and nuclear ICBMs are counted as equivalent to soviet surplus field artillery pieces. How many heavy weapons does a supercarrier constitute?

    Zambia's favorable rating is good reason for me not to complain too loudly however, and I agree that if it can attract favorable attention from the world community it should improve tourism earnings if nothing else.


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