According to the report, Africa has experienced one of the most significant improvements in human development as measured by the Human Development Index (HDI). Between 1990 and 2018, life expectancy increased by more than 11 years.
For the first time, in 2019, an African country – Seychelles – has moved into the very high human development group. Four countries – Botswana, Gabon, Mauritius and South Africa – are also now in the high human development group, while 12 countries – Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eswatini, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Sao Tome and Principe, Zambia and Zimbabwe – are in the medium human development group. While poverty rates have declined across the continent, progress has been uneven. If current trends continue, the report predicts that nearly nine out of 10 people in extreme poverty – more than 300 million – will be in Sub-Saharan Africa by 2030. And among countries that are off track to achieve the SDGs by 2030, most are in Africa. South Africa experiences the highest rate of income inequality in the world with over half the country’s income held by the richest 10 percent.
But there are encouraging signs. Burkina Faso had the region’s largest decline in income inequality, with the bottom 40 percent of the population growing almost twice as fast as the average. Income inequality also shrank in Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea, Lesotho, Mali and Namibia.
Despite improved gender parity in education, the report notes that African women and girls continue to face deeply entrenched challenges to their human development progress. The continent has the world’s highest incidence of early marriage and adolescent childbirth, with 36 percent of women being married before their 18th birthday.
The report puts Uganda’s HDI value for 2018 at 0.528— which places it in the low human development category—positioning it at 159 out of 189 countries. The rank is shared with Tanzania. Between 1990 and 2018, Uganda’s HDI value increased from 0.312 to 0.528, an increase of 69.1 percent.
Uganda’s 2018 HDI of 0.528 is above the average of 0.507 for countries in the low human development group and below the average of 0.541 for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. From Sub-Saharan Africa, countries which are close to Uganda in 2018 HDI rank and to some extent in population size are Madagascar and Tanzania, which have HDIs ranked 162 and 159 respectively.
In terms of HDI indicators, between 1990 and 2018, Uganda’s life expectancy at birth increased by 17.1 years, mean years of schooling increased by 3.3 years and expected years of schooling increased by 5.6 years. Uganda’s GNI per capita increased by about 131.0 percent between 1990 and 2018.
The publication also reports on the performance of nations in Gender Inequality Index (GII), which reflects gender-based inequalities in three dimensions –reproductive health, empowerment and economic activity. Reproductive health is measured by maternal mortality and adolescent birth rates; empowerment is measured by the share of parliamentary seats held by women and attainment in secondary and higher education by each gender while economic activity is measured by the labour market participation rate for women and men.
According to the report, Uganda has a GII value of 0.531, ranking it 127 out of 162 countries in the 2018 index. The report says that 34.3 percent of parliamentary seats in Uganda are held by women, and 27.4 percent of adult women have reached at least a secondary level of education compared to 34.7 percent of their male counterparts. For every 100,000 live births, 343.0 women die from pregnancy-related causes; and the adolescent birth rate is 118.8 births per 1,000 women of ages 15-19. Female participation in the labour market is 67.2 percent compared to 75.0 for men.
The publication also goes beyond income and reports on the deprivations that people face using a Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) which identifies deprivations suffered by individuals in health, education and standard of living and 10 indicators. The report shows that 55.1 percent of the Ugandan population are multidimensionally poor while 24.9 percent are vulnerable to multidimensional poverty.
On distribution of resources, the report shows that the top 10% of society own 33% of the resources while the bottom 40% own 16.4 % of the resources.