The Africa Prosperity Report 2019-2020

The Legatum Institute’s Africa Prosperity Report quantifies prosperity across each African nation and tracks its evolution over the past decade.

A report for the African Prosperity programme by Dr Stephen Brien

Published 3 Feb 2020

This report provides a comprehensive and holistic picture of prosperity across the African continent.

Prosperity entails much more than wealth. It reaches beyond the financial into the political, the judicial, the wellbeing, and the character of a nation — it is about creating an environment in which people are able to reach their full potential. A nation is prosperous when it has an inclusive society with strong institutions, an open economy, and empowered people who are healthy, educated and safe.

We believe that there is insight to be gained in examining the holistic drivers of prosperity and measuring their prevalence on the continent. With the generous support of Delta Philanthropies, we have created this Africa Prosperity Report, analysing and measuring the prosperity of each African nation, based on the Legatum Prosperity IndexTM.  

We have analysed the performance of each country using 12 pillars of prosperity, comprising 65 different policy-focused elements, measured by close to 300 discrete country-level indicators, using a wide array of publicly available data sources. We hope to add to, and not subtract from, the efforts underway to measure progress on SDG indicators, offering a tool to measure holistically the institutional, economic, and social components of prosperity. This comprehensive set of indicators provides an incredibly rich dataset, allowing the potential of each country to be identified and understood. This in turn enables much more targeted policy responses that can drive tangible improvements in prosperity.

 Executive Summary

  • Prosperity in Africa is at its highest ever level, and 43 countries have improved in the last decade, though the divergence between the top and bottom ranked countries has increased.

  • Each region of the continent has improved, with East Africa seeing the most improvement.
  • Strong personal freedoms underpin rising prosperity, as seen in countries such as Togo.
  • Social wellbeing has improved consistently over the last 10 years, with health and education standards rising, poverty rates falling, and living conditions improving.

  • The most important underlying driver of improvements in prosperity over the last decade has been a strengthening of institutions.
  • Microeconomic factors and social wellbeing have improved across the continent, even among countries that have declined in their overall prosperity.
  • If all African countries were to replicate the high performance of the most prosperous countries on the continent, they would rank 38th in the world.

View and download the Africa Prosperity Report 2019 – 2020 Overview

View and download the Africa Prosperity Report 2019 – 2020 Country Profiles


The Africa Prosperity Report 2019-2020:

This report provides a comprehensive and holistic picture of prosperity across the African continent.

By Dr Stephen Brien

Feb 2020

Download the reportPDF