19th August 2021
SACCORD Statement on Zambia’s Drop in the Ranking of the 2021 Global Peace Index
The Southern African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (SACCORD) is disappointed with the drop in the levels of peacefulness that Zambia has experienced in the ranking as contained in the 15th edition of the 2021 Global Peace Index (GPI). The GPI, which is the world’s leading measure of peacefulness for the universe, ranks 163 independent countries and territories around the world as per their levels of peacefulness, and is conducted by the Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP).
This drop has seen Zambia move from being the 44th most peaceful country in 2020 to the 71st most peaceful country in the world. This decline means that Zambia is 27 places worse off in 2021 compared to 2020 in terms of levels of peacefulness. Zambia has further dropped behind in Sub-Saharan Africa from having been ranked the 4th most peaceful country in 2020 to the 13th most peaceful country in 2021 representing a drop of 9 places within a space of one year.
The decline in Zambia’s levels of peacefulness at both the global and continental levels is an indicator of fundamentalsnot functioning correctly where our peace is concerned. Theseinclude continued acts of political violence that havecontributed to the damage to private and public property, injury to citizens, and in unfortunate instances loss of lifehence reducing the levels of safety and security for citizens,among others. The decline in the levels of peacefulness is a further indicator on the need for the country to deliberately invest more in peacebuilding an area that has seen neglect for a long time both domestically and internationally. This has been the case due to complacency on account of the reputation that the country has built over the years of being an ‘oasis of peace’ and a dangerous notion that Zambians are ‘naturally peaceful.’
Peace does not come by accident as it requires hard work through implementation of deliberate peaceful measures and mechanisms that nurture and sustain the peace. This must never be taken for granted as doing so can lead to the deterioration and decline in the levels of peacefulness that a country enjoys.
As SACCORD, we appeal to President-Elect HE Hakainde Hichilema to prioritize the misfortunes that surround Zambia’s decline in the levels of peacefulness. We further appeal to the incoming President and government to focus on investing much more in peacebuilding as this has been neglected for a long time hence contributing to the decline in the levels of peacefulness.