By John Ikani
Nigeria is ranked 161st on the 2020 Global Youth Development Index which measures the status of young people in 181 countries around the world.
This is according to triennial rankings report released by the Commonwealth Secretariat on Tuesday.
The index measured youth development in 181 countries, with 156 of them recording at least slight improvements in their scores.
It ranked countries between 0.00 (lowest) and 1.00 (highest) according to the developments in youth education, employment, health, equality and inclusion, peace and security, and political and civic participation.
It looks at 27 indicators including literacy and voting to showcase the state of the world’s 1.8 billion people between the age of 15 and 29.
According to the index, Afghanistan, India, Russia, Ethiopia and Burkina Faso were the top five improvers, advancing their score, on average, by 15.74 per cent.
On the other hand, Syria, Ukraine, Libya, Jordan and Lebanon showed the greatest decline in youth development between 2010 and 2018.
Singapore ranked top for the first time followed by Slovenia, Norway, Malta and Denmark. Chad, the Central African Republic, South Sudan, Afghanistan and Niger came last respectively.
The index further revealed that conditions of young people have improved around the world by 3.1 per cent between 2010 and 2018, but progress remains slow.
While the data used in the index pre-dates COVID-19, the report highlights the positive trajectory of youth development which the virus could reverse for the first time unless urgent action is taken to secure the pre-pandemic gains.
Overall, the index shows advances in youth’s participation in peace processes and their education, employment, inclusion and health care since 2010.