The value of Ghana’s Human Development Index (HDI) has increased by 31.1 per cent despite dropping its ranking from 140 scored in 2017 to 142 out of 189 countries in 2018, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 2019 Human Development report has said.
The HDI is an average measure of basic human development achievements in a country which assess long term progress in three basic dimensions of human development, comprising long and healthy life, access to knowledge and a decent standard of living.
According to the report, which is titled, “Beyond income, beyond averages, beyond today: inequalities in human development in the 21st century”, Ghana’s increased HDI value fell below the average for countries in the medium human development group, but above average for countries in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Presenting the report at a press conference in Accra on Thursday, Mr Kordzo Sedega, Economic Specialist at the UNDP, said the life expectancy of the Ghanaian at birth had increased by 7.0 per cent explained that previously people died at the average age of 56.8 years but today it is at 63.8 years.
He indicated that the mean years of school had increased from 4.9 years to 7.2 years, adding that the expected years of schooling had also increased from 7.6 years to 11.5 years which according to him, meant that more Ghanaian children were completing basic education.
He stated that Ghana’s Gross National Income (GNI) per capita had also increased by about 120 per cent from 1990 to 2018, saying it was now pegged at $4,099.
According to the Economic Specialist, Ghana’s index for inequality HDI had fallen to 0.427, representing a loss of 28.3 per cent due to inequality in the distribution of the HDI indices.
“Also, the Gender Development Index(GDI) value for Ghana is 0.912, indicating that the inequalities between men and women still exist and that men are still doing better than women,” he said.
He said for life expectancy at birth, men die age 62.7 while women die at 65 years while the per capital income for women was pegged at $3,287 in purchasing parity terms while that of men is $4,889 which indicates that men were still earning more than women.
He said the Gender Inequality Index (GII) value for Ghana was 0.541, ranking it 133 out of 162 countries in 2018.
This, he explained was a result of the 12.7 per cent of Parliamentary seats held by women and 55.7 per cent of adult women attaining secondary education as compared to 71.1 per cent of their male counterparts.
These inequalities, the UNDP’s Economic Specialist said, could be tackled if governments pursue an inclusive policy that would expand incomes for productivity and equity.
Mr Sedega also mentioned that there was the need to formulate policies to accelerate convergence in basic capabilities of all persons as well as eliminate gender inequalities to improve the lot of Ghanaians as a whole.
BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU