UN Finds Botswana's Human
September 13, 2005
Botswana is lagging behind in
human development in a world in which inequalities are a barrier to growth, a
UN report on human development says.
Among 177 countries included in
the report, Botswana ranks 131st, according to the UN human development index
Presenting the 372 page
"Human Development Report 2005" of the UN development
Programme, UNDP resident
representative, Bjorn Foerde said Botswana's human development has fared badly
in the past 15 years with ever increasing inequalities.
Based on the HDI, Botswana
continues to experience difficulties in the human development sector, falling
21 places in HDI rankings between 1990 and 2003. The report includes
fundamental indices such as life expectancy, income disparities and education.
Life expectancy has also fallen drastically in the past 20 years, laments the
"Life expectancy has fallen
by 31 years since 1985," reads the report. The report indicates that
Botswana life expectancy currently stands at 36 years.
While the report noted that
inequality is a barrier to development, it also indicated that the HIV/AIDS
pandemic has inflicted the greatest reversal in human development.
Out of the global total of 38
million people affected by HIV/AIDS, about 25 million are in the sub-Saharan
Africa region with few patients receiving anti-retroviral treatment.
The report projects a sorry
picture for the future of the people of Sub-Saharan Africa indicating that by
2015, there will be more people living below the bread line, that is below
Pula 5.38 a day.
The region will continue
registering higher levels of inequalities. "Sub-Saharan Africa needs an
annual five (5) percent growth rate of income per capita for 10 years to
achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving poverty,"
the report says.
On development aid, the report
says rich countries have been doing a lot of talking and less action has been
taken so far to reduce third world poverty.
"Since 1990, increased
prosperity in rich countries has done little to enhance generosity: per capita
income has increased by US$ 6,070 - about P 26.59 - while per capita aid has
fallen by one US dollar (about P 5.38),"says the report.
The report also says that such
figures suggest that the winners of globalisation have not prioritised help
for the losers, even though they would gain from doing so.
Scandinavia's Norway once more
scooped the first position with Niger at the tail end in HDI rankings.