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Nigeria ranks 161st on leading index on state of youth around the world

The 2020 Global Youth Development Index, which measures the status of young people in 181 countries around the world, has…

The 2020 Global Youth Development Index, which measures the status of young people in 181 countries around the world, has ranked Nigeria 161st.According to the index released by the Commonwealth Secretariat on Tuesday, 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 reveals that the conditions of young people have improved around the world by 3.1 percent between 2010 and 2018, but progress remains slow.

The Commonwealth Secretariat noted that in the triennial rankings of youth development in 181 countries, with 156 of them recording at least slight improvements in their scores.

It observed that 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.

 The highlights of the report showed that the index ranks 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.

Speaking before the release of the index, the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Hon. Patricia Scotland, said: “Young people are indispensable to delivering a future that is more just, inclusive, sustainable and resilient. By measuring their contributions and needs with hard data, our advocacy for their development becomes more powerful, and we are then able incrementally to increase the positive impact and benefits youth are able to add towards building a better future for us all.

“Our Youth Development Index is a vital tool which has already significantly enhanced our capacity to assess the extent to which youth are engaged to contribute beneficially in their societies, and empowered by enabling policies and tools.”

She added: “While the data used to compile the index was gathered before the COVID-19 pandemic, the findings indicate where progress was being achieved and where it was not, and that urgent action is now needed so that pre-pandemic gains are not lost but sustained and developed further, more broadly and more inclusively.

“As we work to recover and rebuild from the many consequences of the pandemic, we need to draw as fully as possible on the energy and idealism of youth so that fresh opportunities for social, economic and political development are opened up with present and future generations of young people equipped and empowered to fulfil their potential.”

In its recommendations, the index calls for more investment in lifelong digital skilling of young people, mental health services, apprenticeships, road safety and youth participation in decision-making to reverse trends which adversely impact them.

It further urges governments to improve data collection on education and diversify how they measure digital skills and online engagement of youth.

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