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Botswana No. 1 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 24 among middle income...

A Newsweek index of the "World's Best Countries", which was published this week, has ranked Botswana no. 1 in Sub-Saharan Africa, 24 among middle income countries, and 80 globally.

Among the Sub-Saharan countries Botswana was closely followed by South Africa (82) and Ghana (86). 

The ambitious survey, which was carried out for the magazine's first ever "Best Countries" special issue, set out answer the question of which countries provide the best opportunities to live a healthy, safe,  prosperous, and upwardly mobile life. In seeking an answer, Newsweek researchers compiled a range of measures across five categories of national well-being-education, health, quality of life, economic competitiveness, and political environment.

A breakdown of the results for Botswana underscores areas of relative strength and weakness.

Botswana scored highest in the areas of Education (73.5) and Political Environment (72.6). The education score was buoyed by the achievement of an average of 11.9 years in school.

In terms of Political Environment, the country scored high in indices measuring respect for basic freedoms and human rights, as well as political stability. The country's metric for political participation, however, was in the middle range, 5 on a scale of 1-10. 

Botswana scored lowest in the area of Health (34.8). This outcome, which reflected an estimated life expectancy of 49 years, was largely based on UN projections of the continuing impact of HIV/AIDS on public health.

In measures of Quality of Life (50.1) the results for Botswana were mixed with relatively high income disparities and poverty, as measured by those living on two US dollars a day or less, being balanced against relatively good scores for security, social welfare, environmental performance, and, perhaps surprisingly, employment. 
Botswana's score for "Economic Dynamism" (43.7) placed the country almost in the middle among the nations surveyed. Areas of relative strength included income and service sector growth, while resource dependency and low innovation metrics were cited as areas of concern.

In terms of "ease of doing business" the study cited Botswana's relatively favourable World Bank ranking of 45 out of 183 countries and 61 day new business start up time. Newsweek 

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