The Human Truth Foundation

Which are the Best Countries in Africa?

By Vexen Crabtree 2013

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#Africa

Social and Moral Index
The Best Countries
CountryScore
1Seychelles67.6
2Mauritius66.2
3Cape Verde57.0
4S. Africa54.9
5Tunisia54.9
6Libya54.8
7Morocco53.4
8Sao Tome & Principe51.9
9Botswana51.9
10Namibia51.7
World Average57.5
Africa Average45.5
Data Source

There are 61 locations that fall within this category. By adding up all the known populations that fall within these locations, and summing their physical land areas, we can calculate population densities. Some islands and territories can end up being counted twice depending on how they are classified and divided up politically, but, mostly such errors involve only small populations. So, some data on this collection of countries in total:


1. Social and Moral Development Index and Basic Demographics

The Social and Moral Development Index is a formulaic aggregation of many factors. It concentrates on moral issues and human rights, violence, equality, tolerance, freedom and effectiveness in climate change mitigation and environmentalism. A country scores higher for achieving well in those areas, and for sustaining that achievement in the long term. Those countries towards the top of this index can truly said to be setting good examples and leading humankind onwards into a bright, humane, and free future. See: "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" by Vexen Crabtree (2017).

CountrySocial & Moral
Development Index
1Higher
is better
Life Expectancy (2015)
Higher is better
2
Gross National Income Per-Capita (2011)
Higher is better2
UN HDI (2016)
Lower is better
3
PopulationLand Areakm2People
Per km2Higher
is worse
1Seychelles67.673.30$23 88663 87 169 460189
2Mauritius66.274.60$17 94864 1 313 803 2 030647
3Cape Verde57.073.54$6 049122 505 335 4 030125
4S. Africa54.957.66$12 087119 50 738 2551 213 09042
5Tunisia54.974.98$10 24997 10 704 948 155 36069
6Libya54.871.76$14 303102 6 469 4971 759 5404
7Morocco53.474.31$7 195123 32 598 536 446 30073
8Sao Tome & Principe51.966.58$3 070142 171 878 960179
9Botswana51.964.51$14 663108 2 053 237 566 7304
10Namibia51.765.06$9 770125 2 364 433 823 2903
11Ghana51.461.53$3 839139 25 545 939 227 540112
12Kenya51.062.16$2 881146 42 749 418 569 14075
13Algeria50.175.03$13 53383 36 485 8282 381 74015
14Madagascar49.765.52$1 320158 21 928 518 581 54038
15Egypt49.371.33$10 064111 83 958 369 995 45084
16Swaziland49.148.94$7 522148 1 220 408 17 20071
17Comoros49.163.57$1 335160 773 344 1 861416
18Lesotho49.050.08$3 319160 2 216 850 30 36073
19Liberia49.061.19$0 683177 4 244 684 96 32044
20Eritrea47.264.19$1 490179 5 580 862 101 00055
21Djibouti46.162.30$3 216172 922 708 23 18040
22Senegal45.866.93$2 250162 13 107 945 192 53068
23Guinea45.159.22$1 058183 10 480 710 245 72043
24Congo, (Brazzaville)44.962.89$5 503135 4 233 063 341 50012
25Burkina Faso44.859.01$1 537185 17 481 984 273 60064
26Benin44.659.76$1 979167 9 351 838 112 76083
27Mozambique44.655.48$1 098181 24 475 186 786 38031
28Tanzania44.365.51$2 467151 47 656 367 885 80054
29Sierra Leone44.151.32$1 529179 6 126 450 71 62086
30Malawi43.863.88$1 073170 15 882 815 94 280168
31Gabon43.364.94$19 044109 1 563 873 257 6706
32Togo43.260.18$1 262166 6 283 092 54 390116
33Zambia42.860.82$3 464139 13 883 577 743 39019
34Gambia42.860.46$1 541173 1 824 777 10 120180
35Zimbabwe42.659.20$1 588154 13 013 678 386 85034
36Cameroon42.155.96$2 894153 20 468 943 472 71043
37Uganda41.959.21$1 670163 35 620 977 199 810178
38Ivory Coast41.751.89$3 163171 20 594 615 318 00065
39Rwanda41.764.75$1 617159 11 271 786 24 670457
40Angola40.852.70$6 291150 20 162 5171 246 70016
41Ethiopia39.764.60$1 523174 86 538 5341 000 00087
42Nigeria39.753.06$5 443152 166 629 383 910 770183
43Equatorial Guinea39.557.91$21 517135 740 471 28 05026
44Niger39.461.94$0 889187 16 644 3391 266 70013
45Guinea-Bissau39.355.49$1 369178 1 579 632 28 12056
46Burundi38.457.12$0 691184 8 749 387 25 680341
47Mali37.958.47$2 218175 16 318 8971 220 19013
48Mauritania36.563.24$3 527157 3 622 9611 030 7004
49Somalia34.955.71$0 294 9 797 445 627 34016
50Central African Rep.34.851.46$0 587188 4 575 586 622 9807
51Sudan34.463.73$3 846165 35 048 4602 376 00015
52Chad32.951.90$1 991186 11 830 5731 259 2009
53Congo, DR32.359.06$0 680176 69 575 3942 267 05031
World Average57.571.27$17 24094.3 25.74m 536 25448
Africa Average45.561.59$5 109150.7 19.79m 554 30936
Data Source

Not showing due to lack of data: Ascension Islands, Mayotte, Réunion, Somaliland, South Sudan, St Helena, Tristan da Cunha and Western Sahara. This page only shows places where the database has enough data to be able to come to reasonable conclusions about each place. The main focus is on nation states, but, some distinct external territories may be listed if the database has enough information about them. Averages are calculated from as many valid data points as possible, meaning, that some territories and locations that are not listed above may still be used to calculate some of the average values. Some calculations only use Independent State data - hover the cursor over values to see hints.

Links:

2. Human Rights and Moral Development

CountrySocial & Moral
Development Index
1Higher
is better
Gender Inequality
(2015)4Higher
is better
Human Rights
Treaties5Higher
is better
Press
Freedom6Higher
is better
LGBT
Equality
7Higher
is better
1Seychelles67.61670.8-130
2Mauritius66.20.381473.5-40
3Cape Verde57.01585.720
4S. Africa54.90.392075.4241
5Tunisia54.90.291860.1-50
6Libya54.80.171562.1-70
7Morocco53.40.491761.0-50
8Sao Tome & Principe51.90.52710
9Botswana51.90.441477.1-50
10Namibia51.70.472087.5-10
11Ghana51.40.551682.7-30
12Kenya51.00.561472.2-160
13Algeria50.10.431863.5-40
14Madagascar49.71471.410
15Egypt49.30.571651.3-20
16Swaziland49.10.571153.2-30
17Comoros49.1975.5-70
18Lesotho49.00.551971.6-10
19Liberia49.00.651570.1-10
20Eritrea47.2815.2-50
21Djibouti46.11332.6-20
22Senegal45.80.522173.8-70
23Guinea45.11771.5-20
24Congo, (Brazzaville)44.90.591371.810
25Burkina Faso44.80.622076.310
26Benin44.60.611671.7-50
27Mozambique44.60.571572.020
28Tanzania44.30.541572.7-220
29Sierra Leone44.10.651573.7-195
30Malawi43.80.611371.8-220
31Gabon43.30.541671.320
32Togo43.20.561671.6-50
33Zambia42.80.531372.1-140
34Gambia42.80.641354.9-160
35Zimbabwe42.60.541161.9-30
36Cameroon42.10.571465.2-70
37Uganda41.90.521968.3-220
38Ivory Coast41.70.671370.2-10
39Rwanda41.70.381944.515
40Angola40.81262.2-10
41Ethiopia39.70.501260.4-30
42Nigeria39.71665.9-220
43Equatorial Guinea39.51332.810
44Niger39.40.701876.9-10
45Guinea-Bissau39.3871.1-15
46Burundi38.40.471662.0-20
47Mali37.90.692170.0-10
48Mauritania36.50.631373.2-220
49Somalia34.9826.4-30
50Central African Rep.34.80.651273.420
51Sudan34.40.571429.9-520
52Chad32.90.691565.10
53Congo, DR32.30.661658.310
World Average57.50.3615.167.5-7
Africa Average45.50.5414.864.9-58

3. Religion and Beliefs

#buddhism #christianity #hinduism #islam #judaism

Disbelief
in God
(2004)8
Religiosity
(2009)9
Jews
(2010)10
Christians
(2010)10
Muslims
(2010)10
Hindus
(2010)10
Buddhists
(2010)10
Folk
Religion
(2010)10
Unaffiliated
(2010)10
Algeria0%95%0.1%0.2%97.9%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.8%
Angola2%0.1%90.5%0.2%0.1%0.1%4.2%5.1%
Ascension Islands
Benin0%0.1%53.0%23.8%0.1%0.1%18.1%5.0%
Botswana0%0.1%72.1%0.4%0.3%0.1%6.0%20.6%
Burkina Faso0%0.1%22.5%61.6%0.1%0.1%15.4%0.4%
Burundi0%98%0.1%91.5%2.8%0.1%0.1%5.7%0.1%
Cameroon0%96%0.1%70.3%18.3%0.1%0.1%3.3%5.3%
Cape Verde0.1%89.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%1.5%9.1%
Central African Rep.2%0.1%89.5%8.5%0.1%0.1%1.0%1.0%
Chad0%95%0.1%40.6%55.3%0.1%0.1%1.4%2.5%
Comoros97%0.1%0.5%98.3%0.1%0.1%1.0%0.1%
Congo, (Brazzaville)3%0.1%85.9%1.2%0.1%0.1%2.8%9.0%
Congo, DR94%0.1%95.8%1.5%0.1%0.1%0.7%1.8%
Djibouti98%0.2%2.3%96.9%0.1%0.1%0.3%0.2%
Egypt0%97%0.1%5.1%94.9%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Equatorial Guinea0.1%88.7%4.0%0.1%0.1%1.7%5.0%
Eritrea0.1%62.9%36.6%0.1%0.1%0.4%0.1%
Ethiopia0%0.1%62.8%34.6%0.1%0.1%2.6%0.1%
Gabon0.1%76.5%11.2%0.1%0.1%6.0%5.6%
Gambia0%0.1%4.5%95.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Ghana0%95%0.1%74.9%15.8%0.1%0.1%4.9%4.2%
Guinea0%0.1%10.9%84.4%0.1%0.1%2.7%1.8%
Guinea-Bissau0.1%19.7%45.1%0.1%0.1%30.9%4.3%
Ivory Coast0%88%0.1%44.1%37.5%0.1%0.1%10.2%8.0%
Kenya0%94%0.1%84.8%9.7%0.1%0.1%1.7%2.5%
Lesotho0.1%96.8%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%3.1%
Liberia0%0.1%85.9%12.0%0.1%0.1%0.5%1.4%
Libya0%0.1%2.7%96.6%0.1%0.3%0.1%0.2%
Madagascar0%0.1%85.3%3.0%0.1%0.1%4.5%6.9%
Malawi0%99%0.1%82.7%13.0%0.1%0.1%1.7%2.5%
Mali0%95%0.1%3.2%92.4%0.1%0.1%1.6%2.7%
Mauritania0%98%0.1%0.3%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.5%0.1%
Mauritius0.1%25.3%16.7%56.4%0.1%0.7%0.6%
Mayotte0.1%0.7%98.6%0.1%0.1%0.5%0.2%
Morocco0%97%0.1%0.1%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Mozambique5%0.1%56.7%18.0%0.1%0.1%7.4%17.9%
Namibia4%0.1%97.5%0.3%0.1%0.1%0.2%1.9%
Niger0%99.5%0.1%0.8%98.4%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.7%
Nigeria0%96%0.1%49.3%48.8%0.1%0.1%1.4%0.4%
Réunion0.1%87.6%4.2%4.5%0.2%0.4%2.0%
Rwanda0%95%0.1%93.4%1.8%0.1%0.1%1.0%3.6%
Sao Tome & Principe0.1%82.2%0.1%0.1%0.1%2.9%12.6%
Senegal0%96%0.1%3.6%96.4%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Seychelles0.1%94.0%1.1%2.1%0.1%0.1%2.1%
Sierra Leone0%0.1%20.9%78.0%0.1%0.1%0.8%0.1%
Somalia0%0.1%0.1%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%
Somaliland98%
S. Africa1%85%0.1%81.2%1.7%1.1%0.2%0.4%14.9%
S. Sudan0.1%60.5%6.2%0.1%0.1%32.9%0.5%
St Helena0.1%96.5%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.1%3.3%
Sudan93%0.1%5.4%90.7%0.1%0.1%2.8%1.0%
Swaziland0.1%88.1%0.2%0.1%0.1%1.0%10.1%
Tanzania0%89%0.1%61.4%35.2%0.1%0.1%1.8%1.4%
Togo0%0.1%43.7%14.0%0.1%0.1%35.6%6.2%
Tristan da Cunha
Tunisia0%93%0.1%0.2%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.2%
Uganda0%93%0.1%86.7%11.5%0.3%0.1%0.9%0.5%
Western Sahara0.1%0.2%99.0%0.1%0.1%0.1%0.4%
Zambia0%95%0.1%97.6%0.5%0.1%0.1%0.3%0.5%
Zimbabwe4%88%0.1%87.0%0.9%0.1%0.1%3.8%7.9%
World Averages9.9%75.1%0.5%60.6%22.4%2.0%3.5%2.7%7.9%
Africa Averages0.5%94.7%0.1%52.0%39.2%1.2%0.1%3.9%3.4%
Data Source

Links:

Some notes from John R. Hinnells:

There are as many African religions as peoples or 'tribes', that is, many hundreds. [...] African religions belonged to pre-literate societies. This has affected ... our knowledge. [...] Non-literate religions change at least as much as literate ones, but changes go unrecorded, hence the mistaken view that African religions are unchanging. Their historical developments may be partially plotted through analysis of layers within current ritual an myth [and] historical documentation. [...] There has been some sharp reaction against [Christian texts on African religion that make a monotheistic God central to African beliefs]. There are certainly some peoples with either no conception of a supreme God or one so limited as to be effectively otiose (Achloli, Lango, Lovedu, Nyakyusa, Swazi, Zande; Jok). These are significant exceptions. [...] More characteristic is a pattern of intermediaries - ancestors or nature gods - to which most ritual and prayer are immediately directed.

"The Penguin Dictionary of Religions" by John R. Hinnells (1997)11

Ancestor Worship:.

In most although not all African religions (among exceptions are the Masai, Nuer, and Tiv) ancestors play a major role. [... They] are seen as elders, named and approached in much the same way as the most senior of living elders; yet they have additional mystical powers. [...] In more God-conscious societies ancestors may be approached simply as intermediaries to God, but where ritual, petition and sacrifice are regularly directed to ancestral spirits with little or no reference to God, it seems linguistically perverse to deny that this is worship - a word itself admitting a range of meaning. [...] In some west African societies (for example, Benin and the Ibo) ancestor veneration is combined with belief in their reincarnation in descendants.

"The Penguin Dictionary of Religions" by John R. Hinnells (1997)12

4. The Rise of Christianity in Africa13

#christianity #congo,_dr #islam #kenya #malawi #nigeria #zambia

According to religion demographers David Barett and Todd Johnson, Christians numbered 10 million in 1900 and 30 million in 1945, but then jumped to 144 million by 1970 and further to 411 million by 2005. Africa's most dramatic Christian growth, in other words, occurred after decolonization. [...] The most important driver and beneficiary of Protestantism's demographic expansion across the global South has clearly been evangelicalism - particularly, in recent years, in its Pentecostal expressions.

Timothy Samuel Shah (2008)14 p. x.

Much of this rise has not been in the spirit of a healthy competition of ideas, wherein the religion that best makes sense grows in numbers. Organized and wealthy Christian evangelists have used their power and resources to systematically undermine and diminish African religion. Anthropologist Terence O. Ranger writes that "evangelicals of all kinds 'demonize' African religion and seek to expel it both from the private and the public sphere"15, and quotes Mutna (1999):

The modern African state, right from its inception, has relentlessly engaged in a campaign of the marginalization, at best, or eradication, at worst, of African religion... The destruction and delegitimation of African religion have been actively effected at the urging or with the collusion and for the benefit of, either or both Islam and Christianity... [T]he conscious, willful and planned displacement of African religion goes beyond and legitimate bounds of religious advocacy and violates the human rights of Africans:... it is in fact a repudiation... of the humanity of African culture.

Mutna (1999), 170.

With wealth comes power and influence, over both religion and government. In several countries "freedom of religion" has been enshrined into law, not to protect African religion, but to ensure the easy spread of evangelical churches - and Muslim outreach churches do exactly the same in countries where they have a foothold. "Mutua, an academic lawyer, shows that the constitutions of independent African states - Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Zambia, the Congo, etc. - guarantee 'liberal generic protection of religious freedoms.' But these are defined in such a way that they refer exclusively to Islam and Christianity"15.

As such, Timothy S. Shah, senior research scholar at the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University, warns about "numerous instances" of Christian communities supporting any party, no matter how vile if it happens to further the interests of their own community.

It is also true that the contributors document numerous instances in which evangelical leaders and their constituencies have been all too willing to offer their fervent prayers and praise for dictators they deem 'godly' - a designation dictators usually earn by their adoption of biblical rhetoric and sponsorship of religious functions, particularly the ubiquitous evangelical crusade. In so doing, some evangelicals reproduce and indeed reinforce the corrupt clientelist politics rife in the region.

Timothy Samuel Shah (2008)14 p. xii-xiii.

Current edition: 2013 Nov 06
Last Modified: 2017 Mar 22
http://www.humantruth.info/africa.html
Parent page: Compare International Statistics by Region and Continent

All #tags used on this page - click for more:

#Africa #benin #buddhism #christianity #congo,_dr #hinduism #islam #judaism #kenya #malawi #nigeria #zambia

Social Media

References: (What's this?)

Book Cover

Crabtree, Vexen
(2017) "What is the Best Country in the World? An Index of Morality, Conscience and Good Life" (2017). Accessed 2017 Mar 23.

Gallup
(2009) Religiosity. gallup.com/poll/142727/.... The survey question was "Is religion an important part of your daily life?" and results are charted for those who said "yes". 1000 adults were polled in each of 114 countries.

Hinnells, John R.. Currently professor of theology at Liverpool Hope University.
(1997, Ed.) The Penguin Dictionary of Religions. Paperback book. Originally published 1984. Current version published by Penguin Books, London, UK. References to this book simply state the title of the entry used.

Lynn, Harvey & Nyborg
(2009) Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations. Richard Lynn, John Harvey and Helmuth Nyborg article "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" in Intelligence (2009 Jan/Feb) vol. 37 issue 1 pages 11-15. Online at www.sciencedirect.com, accessed 2009 Sep 15.

Mutua, Makau W.
(1999) "Returning to My Roots: African 'Religions' and the State" in Proselytization and Communal Self-Determination in Africa, ed. Abdullahi An-Na'im, 169-190. Maryknoll, N.Y.: Orbis Books. Terence O. Ranger (2008) p30.

Pew Forum. Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life.
(2012) The Global Religious Landscape: A Report on the Size and Distribution of the World's Major Religious Groups as of 2010. Published 2012 Dec 18, accessed online 2013 May 01.

Terence O. Ranger
(2008, Ed.) Evangelical Christianity And Democracy in Africa. Published by Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. Part of the series of books on Evangelical Christianity and Democracy in the Global South (series editor Timothy Samuel Shah).

United Nations
(2013) Human Development Report. This edition had the theme of The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World. Published on the United Nation's HDR website at hdr.undp.org/.../hdr2013/ (accessed throughout 2013). UN Development Program: About the Human Development Index.
(2017) Human Development Report. Data for 2015. Available on hdr.undp.org/..

Footnotes

  1. The Social and Moral Index by Vexen Crabtree (As of 2017 Mar 23).^^
  2. UN (2017) Table 1. Higher is better.^
  3. UN (2017) Table 1. Lower is better.^
  4. UN (2017) Table 5. Lower is better.^
  5. Nominal Commitment to Human Rights report published by UCL, London, UK, at ucl.ac.uk/spp/research/research-projects/nchr accessed 2011 Apr 30.^
  6. Reporters Without Borders Report "2013 World Press Freedom Index: Dashed hopes after spring" at fr.rsf.org/.../classement_2013_gb-bd.pdf accessed 2013 Feb.^
  7. LGBT sources:^
  8. Zuckerman, P. (2007). Atheism: contemporary numbers and patterns. In M.Martin (Ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Atheism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. In "Average intelligence predicts atheism rates across 137 nations" by Lynn et al. (2009).^
  9. Gallup (2009).^
  10. Pew Forum (2011) - data for 2010.^
  11. Hinnells (1997) African Religions. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 26.^
  12. Hinnells (1997) Ancestor Worship (African). Added to this page on 2015 Jun 27.^
  13. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 27.^
  14. Timothy Samuel Shah, Boston University, USA. Senior research scholar at the Institute on Culture, Religion and World Affairs at Boston University; adjunct senior fellow for religion and foreign policy at the Council on Foreign Relations. He also serves as a principal researcher for Religion in Global Politics research project at Harvard University. Quotes from his preface to Terence O. Ranger (2008).^
  15. Terence (2008) p30. Added to this page on 2015 Jun 27.^

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