The KPMG Africa Good Life Index was developed as a result of the contentious issue surrounding the use of gross domestic product (GDP) to differentiate between poor and rich nations.
Quality of life is not only determined by looking at how wealthy a nation is. There are various other factors that influences well-being; such as socio-economic aspects, natural resources and political stability.
The KPMG Africa Good Life Index unpacks these factors to determine a country’s quality of life by looking deeper than just GDP.
KPMG identified three pillars - good socio-economic conditions, good environment and good governance - that are essential to understand well-being. Some 22 indicators are aggregated to create the 12 underlying topics of these three pillars.
The KPMG Africa Good Life Index is the first of its type for Africa, and was developed with reference to previous well-being research in other parts of the world. This index is not intended to replace GDP, but to be used alongside it, to yield a more balanced view of quality of life.
Overall, the in-depth analysis of each country’s three pillars yielded valuable information for many stakeholders. Southern Africa performs the best while Central Africa performs the worst. Regionally, North Africa is the overall top performer in the socio-economic conditions pillar, especially with regards to the housing and health topics. Four of the top five performers within the good environment pillar are from the Southern African region. Within the good governance pillar there are significant challenges for Central and East Africa.
A country snapshot for each of the top 10 countries makes it possible to identify in which areas a country excels and where topics can be improved. Mauritius ranks first in the KPMG Africa Good Life Index.
The top three countries (Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia) are all located in Southern Africa, with Botswana being the only landlocked country in the top 10. In the top 10 Southern Africa holds four spots, North Africa three and West Africa two. Gabon is the only country representing Central Africa while no country in East Africa places within the top 10. An analysis of Nigeria shows why it ranks 27th in the KPMG Africa Good Life Index even though it is one of the largest economies in Africa in terms of GDP.
A comparison between GDP per capita and the well-being index values shows high variance on all levels of GDP, emphasising the necessity to dig deeper than GDP. This KPMG Africa Good Life Index will empower Africa to achieve more than just higher GDP. This index could help governments to change their policies and find alternative ways to allocate resources.
A better understanding of people’s well-being is essential to developing better policies and effectively better lives across Africa.