Prosperity indexLONDON (Malawi NewsNow) – Legatum Institute, a London-based think tank says Malawi has dropped four places ranked at number 24 in the latest Africa Prosperity Index, which measures the human and economic prosperity of nations around the world released on Wednesday.

The amount of money a country has is one factor of prosperity, but the Legatum Institute considers more than that in its ranking.

The organisation compares 89 variables to come up with its list. These variables include traditional indicators like per capita gross domestic product and the number of people in full-time work as well as more interesting figures such as the number of secure internet servers a country has and how well rested people feel on a day-to-day basis.

The variables are then split into eight subindexes: economy, entrepreneurship and opportunity, governance, education, health, safety and security, personal freedom, and social capital.

The index looked at the African countries that have the most available data.

The survey shows that Malawi best performance is in the Governance sub-index, where it ranks 71st globally in 2015 with good indicators in rule of law,  political rights and regulation quality.

However, there were concerns of “widespread” corruption.

Malawi’s lowest rank is in the Economy sub-index, where it ranks 138th in 2015.

This dimension measures classic aspects of the economy like GDP, unemployment, inflation and foreign direct investment.

The southern African nation has also performed badly in other Prosperity Index rates, including education, health, business and social capital.

Augustine Chipungu, Research Analyst -at the Legatum Institute, said: “The 2016 Africa Report sought to determine what level of prosperity African countries  can and should be expected to deliver given their level of wealth. This was done by assessing their level of wealth (GDP per capita), and modelling it against their score in the Prosperity Index.”

He said :The difference between what they delivered, and expectation – the Prosperity Index gap – showed us which countries over-delivered i.e. which countries delivered more prosperity than expected given their wealth, and which under-delivered i.e. which countries delivered less prosperity than expected given their wealth.

“The results found that wealth is neither necessary nor sufficient for the improvement of prosperity delivery.”

Alexandra Mousavizadeh, a top economist and director of the Lengatum Prosperity Index,  urges policy makers to take the finding of the report and “reflect on the state of the fundamental cornerstone of prosperity delivery at home.”

Despite Africa enjoying high growth rates – averaging 5.5% in the last decade alone- the continent has been outpaced in prosperity delivery when compared to other developing countries in Europe and Asia, the survey revealed.

In addition, the continent has also been outpaced in other key targets. For example, in 1990, the number of people living below US$1.90 in East Asia was 60.6%, whilst in Sub-Saharan Africa, it was 56.8%. By 2012, this figure was 42.7% in Sub-Saharan and 7.2% in East Asia.

This is reflected in the Prosperity Index where the median rank for Sub-Saharan Africa is 98.5, whilst in Asia, it is 57.