Marginal fall in development index
Despite Namibia’s decline in the human dependency ratios the human development report 2013 has shown that Namibia’s performance still leaves more to be desired based on its income per capita and relatively small population. Namibia measured 0.609 on the Human Development Index (HDI); a drop from 2011’s performance of 0.625. in hindsight Namibia has conformed to its usual trend maintaining index values between 0.6 and 0.7. According to the report, Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and Tanzania are among the countries that made the greatest strides in HDI improvement since 2000.
Amongst the SADC countries, Botswana leads with a HDI of 0.636 followed by South Africa with 0.629 Zambia and Malawi have very low recordings in with 0.448 and 0.418 respectively.
According to the 2013 Human Development Report, which was officially launched on 14 March by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark and President of Mexico Enrique Pena Nieto in Mexico City. Sub-Saharan Africa can achieve higher levels of human development if it deepens its engagement with other regions of the South. A special report titled ‘The Rise of the South: Human Progress in a Diverse World,’ shows the Africa continent as having the second highest growth in the HDI after South Asia over the past ten years. The Report uses the term “the South” to refer to developing countries and “the North” for developed ones.
Compared to other regions, sub-Saharan Africa still has the lowest average national HDI yet of the 14 countries in the world that recorded HDI gains of more than two percent annually since 2000, eleven are in the region. That progress has happened amid an upsurge in trade, investment and development cooperation with emerging economies like Brazil, China and India that have succeeded in pulling millions out of poverty. Between 1992 and 2011, for instance, China’s trade with sub-Saharan Africa rose from US $1 billion to more than US$140 billion.
“To sustain or accelerate HDI improvement in sub-Saharan Africa in coming decades, countries in the region must strive to reduce inequalities, with a particular focus on youth, women and marginalised populations,” the Report says. It urged several countries within Africa to stay abreast of new trading patterns and to gear their country’s economic growth to the much needed sectors of health and education.