Harare has been ranked the sixth least liveable city in the world out of 140 nation cities due to instability, inadequate infrastructure and a poor healthcare system, faring better only against cities in conflict-ridden and highly fragile states except Nigeria, according to the Global Liveability Index (GLI) of 2018.
The rank is a downgrade by two positions from last year’s.
The GLI of 2018 is an annual index of the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is an international research and analysis division of The Economist Group, the sister company of The Economist newspaper based in the United Kingdom.
Damascus, the Capital of war-torn Syria, is ranked the world’s most unliveable city, followed by Dhaka (Bangladesh), Lagos (Nigeria), Karachi (Pakistan), Port Moresby (Papua New Guinea) and Harare.
In terms of overall rankings, Harare ranked 135 out of the 140 nations surveyed, scoring 42,6 on the index, with 100 being the most ideal.
“The rankings of cities like Damascus, Karachi and Tripoli suggest that conflict is responsible for many of the lowest scores. This is not only because stability indicators have the highest single scores, but also because factors defining stability can spread to have an adverse effect on other categories,” EIU said in the rankings released on Tuesday.
“For example, conflict will not just cause disruption in its own right, it will also damage infrastructure, overburden hospitals and undermine the availability of goods, services and recreational activities. Unavailability of adequate infrastructure is also responsible for many of the lowest scores. This is particularly visible in the ranks of cities like Dhaka (Bangladesh, 139th), Harare (Zimbabwe, 135th), Douala (Cameroon, 133rd) and Dakar (Senegal, 131st).”
In a breakdown of the GLI rankings, Harare scored poorly in terms of stability with a 40,0 and healthcare (20,8) and infrastructure (35,7). But, in terms of culture and environment, Harare scored 58,6 and for education (66,7), showing positive marks in those areas.
Post-election violence has led to seven confirmed deaths, beatings, abductions, burning of opposition homes by suspected ruling party members, including antagonising journalists, all of which are detergents to investors or visitors.
“The Middle East, Africa and Asia account for the ten lowest-scoring cities in the survey where violence — whether through crime, civil insurgency, terrorism or war — has played a strong role,” EIU said.
The methodology behind the ranking is based on over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories; stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.
“Every city is assigned a rating of relative comfort for over 30 qualitative and quantitative factors across five broad categories: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure. Each factor in a city is rated as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable or intolerable,” EIU said.
“For qualitative indicators, a rating is awarded based on the judgment of in-house analysts and in-city contributors. For quantitative indicators, a rating is calculated based on the relative performance of a number of external data points.”
EIU said the concept of liveability is simple; it assesses which locations around the world provide the best or the worst living conditions.
“Assessing liveability has a broad range of uses; from benchmarking perceptions of development levels to assigning a hardship allowance as part of expatriate relocation packages. The Economist Intelligence Unit’s liveability rating quantifies the challenges that might be presented to an individual’s lifestyle in any given location, and allows for direct comparison between locations,” EIU said.
Since the election violence broke out, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) issued a statement trying to quell any notion of the country’s current instability.
“The ZTA would like to inform all valued tourists from both the domestic and international markets that, notwithstanding the post-election violence witnessed on 01 August 2018 in the capital city, Harare, Zimbabwe remains a safe destination for any travel,” ZTA chief executive officer Karikoga Kaseke said.
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