Rwanda has been ranked the second most peaceful country in the region after Tanzania, so says the 2008 Global Peace Index (GPI) rankings.
In Africa, Rwanda is 11th out of 30 countries while it is 76th out of the 140 countries analyzed globally.
Tanzania, the 58th in overall ranking scored 1.919 and is seventh in Africa while Rwanda’s overall score is 2.030.
Uganda follows as third in East Africa and 114th overall with a 2.391 score while Kenya, fourth in the region is 119th overall with a 2.429 score.
Burundi was not included in the survey.
The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) ranks at 128 in the world and 25th in Africa, just ahead of Nigeria, Central African Republic, Chad and Sudan.
Somalia comes last in Africa and second from the bottom on the world index.
Iceland is the most peaceful country in the world while the worst is war-torn Iraq. The index points out political participation as one of the drivers of Rwanda’s high peace ranking.
Other key indicators in Rwanda’s favour include: number of homicides, volume of imports and exports of major conventional weapons, number of deaths from both organized internal and external conflicts, number of armed services personnel and hostility to foreigners or private property.
Rwanda also scores fairly high on number of jailed population, military expenditure of the GDP, the number of armed services personnel, and number of displaced people as percentage of the population.
Other peace indicators favouring Rwanda are respect for human rights, ease of access to weapons of minor destruction, level of organized internal conflict, military capability and sophistication, potential for terrorist acts and number of internal and external conflicts fought during 2000–05.
The GPI is composed of 24 qualitative and quantitative indicators which combine internal and external factors ranging from a nation’s level of military expenditure to its relations with neighbouring countries and the level of respect for human rights.
These indicators and others were selected by an international panel of academics, business people, philanthropists and peace institutions.
The GPI is collated and calculated by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), a research and advisory company providing country, industry and management analysis worldwide.
It is particularly well known for its country profiles, monthly country reports, five-year country economic forecasts, country risk service reports and industry Reports.
The Company also specialises in tailored research for companies that require analysis for particular markets or business sectors.
Ghana, Madagascar, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia, Gabon, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Senegal, Malawi, Rwanda, Namibia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Mali, Angola, Uganda, South Africa, Congo-Brazzaville and Kenya are the first 20 in their respective order of ranking.
Globally, the first 12 are Iceland, Denmark, Norway, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland, Portugal, Finland, Luxembourg, Austria, Canada and Switzerland respectively.
The GPI is endorsed by a number of prominent individuals including Nobel Laureates Archbishop Desmond Tutu, President Jimmy Carter, Joseph Stiglitz, Amnesty International, the Dalai Lama and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus.