Today marks the launch of the 16th edition of the Global Peace Index from the international think-tank the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP).
- Deaths from external conflict recorded a sharp deterioration driven by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- Despite recent commitments, militarisation has improved in 113 countries since 2008.
- Terrorism continued to improve, with 70 countries recording no attacks in 2021. This is the best result since 2008.
- The rise in costs has increased food insecurity and political instability globally, with Africa, South Asia and the Middle East under greatest threat.
- The political terror scale, political insecurity, neighbouring country relations, refugees and IDPs reached their worst score since the inception of the GPI.
- The global economic impact of violence was $16.5 trillion in 2021, equivalent to 10.9% of global GDP, or $2,117 per person.
Impact of the War in Ukraine on Peacefulness
- Two of the five countries with the largest deteriorations in peacefulness were Russia and the Ukraine.
- Social media is changing the way intelligence is gathered – it is now shared instantaneously, raw and with little analysis.
- In contrast to the global trend, positive sentiment in the Ukraine was rising in 2021. Support for the West was strong, with 58% wanting to join a Western economic union, and 54% supporting joining NATO.
The 16th edition of the annual Global Peace Index (GPI) report, the world’s leading measure of peacefulness, reveals that the average level of global peacefulness deteriorated by 0.3% in 2021.
This is the eleventh deterioration in peacefulness in the last fourteen years, with 90 countries improving, and 71 deteriorating, highlighting that countries deteriorate much faster than they improve.
Iceland remains the most peaceful country, a position it has held since 2008. It is joined at the top of the Index by New Zealand, Ireland, Denmark and Austria. For the fifth consecutive year, Afghanistan is the least peaceful country, followed by Yemen, Syria, Russia and South Sudan. Seven of the ten countries at the top of the GPI are in Europe, and Turkey is the only country in this region to be ranked outside the top half of the Index.
Two of the five countries with the largest deteriorations in peacefulness were Russia and the Ukraine, they were joined by Guinea, Burkina Faso and Haiti. All these deteriorations were due to ongoing conflict.
Of the 23 indicators in the GPI, the largest deteriorations were recorded in neighbouring country relations, intensity of internal conflict, refugees and IDPs, political terror scale and political instability. Twenty-eight countries have high levels of instability, and ten countries recorded the worst possible political terror score.
The global inequality in peacefulness has continued to increase. Since 2008, the 25 least peaceful countries deteriorated on average by 16%, while the 25 most peaceful countries improved by 5.1%. Since 2008, 116 countries reduced their homicide rate.
The cost of violence to the global economy was $16.5 trillion, or 10.9% of global GDP, which is the equivalent to $2,117 per person. For the ten countries most affected by violence, the average economic impact was equivalent to 34% of GDP, compared to 3.6% in the countries least affected.
There were substantial improvements for several indicators, including terrorism impact, nuclear and heavy weapons, deaths from internal conflict, military expenditure, incarceration rates and perceptions of criminality. Terrorism impact is at its lowest level since the inception of the GPI.
Steve Killelea, Founder & Executive Chairman of IEP said: “Last year we warned about the economic fallout from COVID-19. We are now experiencing supply chain shortages, rising inflation, and food insecurity that have been compounded by the tragic events in Ukraine. The political and economic consequences of this will reverberate for years to come.
“When combined with the record poor scores for neighbouring relations, political insecurity and intensity of internal conflict, governments, organisations, and leaders must harness the power of peace.
“The economic value of lost peace reached record levels in 2021. There is a need to reverse this trend, and the GPI has shown that those countries that implement the attitudes, institutions and structures that create and sustain peaceful societies, witness an improved economic outcome.”
Militarisation & the Ukraine war
Military spending as a percentage of GDP decreased in 94 countries, while 112 countries have reduced armed service personnel since 2008. However, the Ukraine Russia conflict, and the potential increase in military spending by NATO countries to 2% of GDP, may lead to deteriorations in future years. Independently of this conflict, China plans to increase its spending on military by 7.1% in 2022.
Optimism about the future was on the rise with three times as many people feeling they could have the best possible future than in 2019. Surprisingly, only 20% felt the government could deal with a disaster. In contrast, the proportion of Russians feeling safer than five years’ prior fell between 2019 and 2021, while nearly three times as many Russians were worried about the economy*.
Although the full impact of the Ukraine Russia war is still being felt, it has had a significant effect on the Index. Many European nations near Russia have seen scores deteriorate for relations with neighbours, including Finland, Sweden, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Moldova.
The war has underlined the importance of technology in shaping conflict; 5G mobile technology, the social media revolution, and the greater affordability of drones have changed warfare. Recent conflicts have highlighted a move away from static, curated intelligence, to real time gathering via social media. Information is fluid, content driven, and shared in a raw, uncensored format.
Global economy and rise of violent demonstration
The COVID-19 pandemic pushed countries towards economic and political crises. Countries that had become progressively more peaceful experienced outbreaks of protests and violence aimed at governments’ handling of the pandemic.
The intensity of violent demonstrations has increased by 49% since 2008, with 126 of the 163 countries in the Index deteriorating. This a global trend, affecting all regions of the world except MENA. Full democracies recorded the sharpest deterioration in violent demonstrations, however, the score for full democracies is still better than any other type of government.
South Asia was the region with the highest frequency and intensity of violent demonstrations where India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Pakistan recorded their highest levels since the inception of the GPI. In Europe, there were widespread anti-lockdown protests, especially in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Austria, Croatia and the UK, with similar developments in North America.
Conflict and displacement
Ongoing Conflict had the largest deterioration at 9.3% of all three GPI domains since 2008. The number of countries experiencing violent internal conflict rose from 29 to 38, but the number of people killed in internal conflicts has fallen since 2017. The number of forcibly displaced people around the world increased from 31 million in 2008, to over 88 million in 2022.
There are 17 countries where at least 5% of the population are either refugees or internally displaced. South Sudan has over 35% of its population displaced, while Somalia and the Central African Republic have more than 20%.
- Russia and Eurasia experienced the largest deterioration in peacefulness, driven by deteriorations in conflict deaths,refugees and IDPs, political instability and political terror.
- South Asia remains the second least peaceful region but recorded the largest increase in peacefulness, driven by improvements in ongoing conflict.
- Asia-Pacific recorded an increase in peacefulness, driven by improvements in all three GPI domains with the largest occurring in Safety and Security. In North America, The US had the lowest level of peacefulness since 2008, with civil unrest the primary driver.
- Violent crime increased in Central America and the Caribbean by 4.4% in 2022 to reach the highest level since 2008. Haiti had the largest deterioration in the region.
- MENA recorded the second biggest improvement globally. Yemen is the least peaceful country in the region for the second consecutive year. Libya recorded the largest improvement in peacefulness globally.
- Sub-Saharan Africa recorded a 1% deterioration. South Sudan remains the least peaceful country in the region, despite an overall improvement. Although levels of internal conflict in the country remain high, the number of deaths from internal conflict improved by 15%.
SIFAX Chairman Taiwo Afolabi Donates Church, Vicarage to Ijebu Anglican Diocese
The church, Samson Afolabi Anglican Church, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, would seek to meet the spiritual needs of the town’s GRA residents.
Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman, SIFAX Group has donated a church, vicarage, children hall and a bus to the Ijebu Anglican Diocese in commemoration of his 60th birthday.
The church, Samson Afolabi Anglican Church, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, would seek to meet the spiritual needs of the town’s GRA residents.
At the church’s dedication service, Afolabi, in company of his family, friends and well-wishers, appreciated God for His mercy and favour in the last 60 years. He said the donation was his way of showing gratitude to God for the journey of six decades filled with abundant grace and multiple blessings.
He said: “Let me start by expressing my appreciation to God Almighty who has remained my source and inspiration over the years. He has not only kept me alive but has also granted me grace, gave me a beautiful family, loyal friends and associates. I don’t know how else to say Thank You God than to build a befitting place where His people can come and worship”.
In his sermon, Rt. Rev. Dr. Peter Rotimi Oludipe, the Bishop of Ijebu Anglican Diocese, showered encomiums on the SIFAX Group boss, describing him as a shining light to this generation and a great philanthropist.
He congratulated him on the milestone birthday and further urged him to continue affecting the society positively.
Dignitaries at the event included Prince Dapo Abiodun, Ogun State Governor; Former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo; Former Ogun State Governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi, Oba Saheed Elegushi, Senator Iyiola Omisore, Kemi Adeosun, former Minister of Finance amongst others.
Hon. Chukwuemelie Lambert Agu Transforming Housing Development in Enugu: From Civil Service to Private and Profit Oriented Perspective
Driven by the determination to always keep moving, Honourable CHUKWUEMELIE LAMBERT AGU, as a high achiever, figured out the solutions to housing development in Enugu State, writes IKENNA OLUKA
The people who wish to achieve something are always action-oriented. When they feel like work needs to be done, they do it without asking too many questions and ensure that the work is done on time.
Driven by the outcome and the determination to always keep moving, high achievers try to figure out all the possible solutions for their work beforehand.
This analogy perfectly describes the personality of Honourable Chukwuemelie Lambert Agu General Manager/CEO, Enugu State Housing Development Authority (ESHDC).
Hon. Chukwuemelie Lambert Agu, until his appointment as the GM/CEO of Enugu State Housing Development Corporation (ESHDC), was a successful business manager/administrator. He was recruited into the public sector by the present Executive Governor of Enugu State, Rt. Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to be the GM/CEO of ESHDC April 2016.
He attended St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Emene, Enugu; University of Nigeria, Nsukka and Enugu State University of Science & Technology.
Hon. Chukwuemelie has over 20 years of choice management experience from various positions held in top flight Businesses.
For high achievers, optimism comes naturally. They focus on what is good and offer good vibes in return. Being optimistic leads to a better mindset that everyone needs to fulfill their goals.
No wonder, on his assumption of office as the General Manager/CEO of Enugu State Housing Development Corporation, Hon. Agu swiftly and almost simultaneously embarked on the development of more than 6 estates within 18 months! Starting from Transparency Estate to Heritage, WTC-Citadel 1&2 to Rangers 1&2 and many others, all he and the team have done simply implies enabling people to develop these estates themselves. They provide them with communal living- gated-apartments, water, electricity and other facilities.
ESHDC under Hon. Agu’s leadership also gives them little time to develop; therefore, within one year to two years. The transformation he brought to bear ensures the Corporation now works with only the willing and capable people to develop these estates.
High achievers create a plan for long-term goals and focus on it. You will find them going back and forth from the present to their planned future quickly.
Before now, we were seeing heavy congestion in Enugu which was not there when we were young and growing. Thus, ESHDC under Hon. Agu’s dispensation initiated projects developing the outward parts of the metropolis. They wanted a situation where value is added to the out-sketch of the State. In places like the United States, you see people drive 30minutes to an hour to go to work and still go back. That is the intent with projects located to aid people who can come from Abakpa, Awkunanau, Four-Corner, Nsukka to attend to their daily activities in the metropolis and still go back for a 20 to 30minutes drive.
The future is bright; “basically, we are laying the foundation for those coming after us to think and develop better”, Hon. Chukwuemelie Agu said in one of his interviews with the press. “Technology has improved in the housing sector too. However, you can’t do much without adequate funding. With the number of estates we are developing during my dispensation is going to add values to what my predecessors have done. Many of them we have served in this capacity did creditably well. What this means is that with time, people can afford to have enough funds to maintain the old estates and dig into the future.
“Because land is a scarce commodity, currently, we are trying to discuss with communities where lands are sold at N200,000 or N400,000, so we want to develop estates around them which will automatically add value to the remaining lands. This will also accord them security; normally, we have armed security personnel for all our estates. Apart from that, you are bringing people from different spheres of life to the communities.
“With that, the economy of that community will go up; shops, markets, schools, hotels, and other demands will come up. So, the future is bright for the housing sector in Enugu State. Already, we have 36 estates. With the grant rents, service charges, there will be enough funds to maintain existing estates and develop new ones.
From the foregoing, it is obvious that Hon. Agu came prepared. His well-drafted plans have added value to the Enugu State economy at large.
There is no stopping for high achievers. They deal with exponential growth because they do not like being slowed down!
Hon. Agu has pushed the boundaries. He has pursued projects, building for everybody depending on what the market says. ESHDC under his leadership has developed some ‘nucleus apartments’ in some of the estates. Also, in some estates, people have not started developing their property; they have encouraged them by building in some of them. That shows the human face of this government.
ESHDC has built some 4-bedroom terrace apartment; which is not common in the country. In some they are developing 2-3bedrooms terraces.
The cost of land is high now which could be chief among the reasons they are building terrace forms which will give us more houses in small portions of land.
Before our eyes, Hon. Agu is leading a housing revolution based on his dream of developing a new city entirely. The partners- investors must be appreciated too for selecting Enugu; assisting the government to achieve this.
If you ever wonder how someone gets from the lower level of the hierarchy up to the top, it is all because of their attitude towards opportunities.
Never underestimate what the world has to offer you. Be keen on availing different chances since you never know how they can benefit you.
High achievers are always on a lookout for new and better opportunities for themselves, and you need to follow their lead!
Let’s keep supporting Hon. Chukwuemelie Lambert Agu for the development of our State.
A Blackman’s last wish
BY: Osy Agbo
Trending recently is the nauseating video clips showing helpless black men in the cold/rainy streets of China having been dragged out of the hotel space they paid for and a house they have legitimately occupied for years.
The clip showed pictures of men with their families in toe, looking confused and fearful as the Communist police brandishing lethal weapons threaten their very existence.
Maybe they could have just packed up their bags and hop on the next plane home rather than face such inhumanity, except the whole world is under a total lockdown. A lockdown we all know was brought upon us by a virus not discovered in Lagos, Nigeria but in Wuhan, China.
Just to be clear, they weren’t caught attempting to bomb Beijing or even trying to befriend an oriental damsel which as a black man I understand is a crime of some sorts in China. The only sin committed here was nothing other than being black which by implication mearnt they must be the reason why Covid-19 is wrecking China and the entire world.
Black equals evil, remember! And so you know, every one of these folks already went through the standard 14-days quarantine and did whatever they were asked to do by the Chinese authorities.
That makes a lot of sense right? Well.. If it doesn’t, that’s probably because you are not black and so never had the ”luxury” of enjoying the black experience first hand. I have no doubt that some here in America may have heard about it. May be in one of those noisy Black Lives Matters’s rally. For those who don’t know, if you are black, you are automatically a criminal in the eyes of the world.
The burden to disprove lies on the individual black person. It doesn’t even matter how successful or distinguished you are, as long as you are black, your experience will be same. Unless you are a Barack Obama and even Obama travelling in a private capacity, would still need to have his name tatooed on his forehead to escape the humiliation. That’s the everyday life of about 850 million human beings that call this planet home.
We have been told in the past that blacks would have no issues only if we could just tone it down, keep a low profile, don’t say a word and carefully avoid the prying eyes of the police. That turns out to be a big lie. The rules change each time leaving us more confused and feeling seriously endangered.
It’s true China is in the news today, but it could easily have been London, Paris, India, America or even in the streets of Manila,Phillipines. Whereas it’s more subtle in Europe and America, the experience is nonetheless similar. We use to blame many young black men here in America for being responsible for their own demise, till we kept seeing videos upon videos of none threatening black men being shot and killed for flimsy reasons or no reason at all other than the sin of their race.
You know, I get it that the world is paranoid about blacks. First, we have certain physical features some many not consider particularly appealing. The blackman is the face of poverty, he is physically threatening and don’t seem to get anything right. He is also the one that is likely to die should the world face a pandemic.
I get it that there must be something fundamentally wrong about the black genome. The only small problem with that myth is that blacks have excelled just like any other race if the playing field is levelled up. In fact sometimes we have done even better. Many blacks hold patents on disruptive technologies and are behind ground breaking invention, though you may never get to know this.
Many work behind the scene and are just happy and feel privileged to be given such a chance. I know a lot of top NASA scientists who are Nigerians. You have also a whole tribe of successful African Americans who have written their names boldly in science, technology and business barely coming out from the Jim crow years.
We have all shuddered at the sight of those hungry faces and charred bodies as they made the fatal Odyssey across the desert. We are now used to the news flash of sinking migrant boats as they make the desperate trip across the Mediterranean. There must be something wrong to flee a land flowing in oil, rich in gold and solid minerals. Do the world care to know that those precious metals and black gold built most of the legendary iconic towers of London and New York. And that while those were happening, Mother Africa bled dry and her sons and daughter wallow in abject poverty.
Now, If you are black, please don’t just get emotional over this and play the victim. Yes, we are victimized but no one cares to know about that. Truth is that we play a huge role in the fate that befell us. I say that because while China is driving the very few of us living in their land, African heads of state are busy rolling out the red carpet for millions of them threatening to take over our continent. My friend once called it the Chinese invasion of Africa and I couldn’t agree more. I had written copiously about this issue in my previous essays.
While victory seems far-fetched, all hope is not lost. After all a black man is an incurable optimist by nature. That’s why we see an African mum living in a shack but still smiling and remains thankful for the gift of life. In this 21st century, we still have the power to redefine our destiny. The best way to predict a good future they said, is to create one.
Here is a special appeal I believe blacks should make to the world. World leaders should congregate and for once draw up a code of conduct for us. We should be told where we are allowed to go, what we can say and who should be allowed to visit us.
They should also not hesitate to tell us when they are finally fed up and would rather have us exit this planet. I know for a fact that many of us living outside would rather make our ancestral land our final resting place than for it to happen in a foreign soil. They never wanted us in the first place anyway . Everyone deserves the honour of a last wish. We are hoping that too is not asking too much.
*Osmund Agbo MD, FCCP lives in Houston, Texas