A global report, Legatum Prosperity Index, has urged Nigeria and other sub-Saharan countries to boost agricultural productivity in view of the rising population.
The Legatum Prosperity Index is an annual ranking of 149 countries that covers 96 per cent of the world’s population and 99 per cent of global Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
In a release made available to The Nation, the report emphasised the need for investments to accelerate growth and employment in agriculture sector while enhancing nutrition.
While the report said global prosperity is at its highest level in the 12-year history of the Index, with more people living prosperous lives than ever before, it, however, noted that the gap between countries with the highest and lowest prosperity scores is widening. “The gap between the top and the bottom countries is now 10 per cent wider than in 2013,” it said.
The report continued: “Safety and security continue to decline, with the most significant deteriorations found in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa, driven by war, terrorism, oppressive regimes, and the declining availability of food and shelter.
“Despite the welcome fall in malnutrition and absolute poverty globally, more people report that they lack the basic needs of food and shelter to live. Globally, the number of people reporting their struggle to buy food at some point over the last year has risen from a quarter in 2008 to a third this year. War, terrorism and oppression are driving insecurity around the world: deaths from conflict increased 58 per cent over 10 years; and deaths from terrorism quadrupled in 10 years.”
Commenting on the publication, CEO of the Legatum Institute, Philippa Stroud, said: “The Legatum Institute exists to provide the leadership and vision to address the major challenges of our generation-and seize the opportunities; to shape the values, ideas and policies which will transform society and see all people prosper, creating pathways from poverty to prosperity.
“The Legatum Prosperity Index is a tool for leaders around the world to help set their agenda for growth and development. Prosperity entails much more than wealth, it is about creating the environment where a person can reach their full potential. We are increasingly ambitious about engaging directly with more of the leaders, policy makers, businesses and advisers of the countries we research to help identify the pathways to prosperity.”
Director of Policy of the Institute, Stephen Brien, said: “A nation is prosperous when it has an open economy, an inclusive society with strong institutions and empowered people who are healthy, educated and safe. Safety and security are fundamental to prosperity and the cornerstone on which to build all the pillars of prosperity.