In the 2008 rankings report released by the Global Peace Index, Rwanda's position is just below halfway, at 76th, in a table of 140 countries. Without surprise, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan and Afghanistan come last in that order, while Iceland, Denmark, Norway and New Zealand are respectively proud table toppers.
Rwanda ranks higher (better) than United States, the likes of Bangladesh, India, Thailand and Philippines. This year's analysis is GPI's second, the inaugural one having been published in 2007. The latest release of rankings has 19 more nations considered than that of last year.
Most significantly, Rwanda is No.11 out of 30 African countries analyzed. It is far more peaceful than South Africa(116), Cameroon and Angola. Nearer home, the only country above Rwanda in the entire Great Lakes region is Tanzania (58).
The index which is comprised of 24 qualitative and quantitative indicators from highly respectable sources, lumps together factors from both within and without. They include a country's military spending level, quality of neighbourliness and human rights respectability. Indeed top peace drivers were identified as education, per capita income, lack of corruption and regional relationships.
Encouragement is drawn from the fact that most countries in the world are performing better in the face of key scales of peacefulness, compared to what their individual situations were like a year ago. Although there might be a few nations such as Kenya, Myanmar, Chad and Israel which have not been at their peaceful best since the last analysis, cumulatively the world is more peaceful in 2008.
Sydney-based philanthropist and founder of GPI Steve Killelea said "business can drive peace", since "it affects governments and the way governments think". By interpretation, business minded governments will steer clear of behaviour which tends to fan conflict inside their territories and in the neighbourhood.
Now, if business creates peace, related to this notion is the logic that investments should look for peaceful regions. It puts into context the highlight given to Rwanda's impressive position above in the GPI; we simply want to say the report portrays the country as conducive for business.