Life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa is 46 years – WEF report

SUB-SAHARAN Africa has one of the highest levels of mortality in the world.

The overall life expectancy at birth is 46 years across many countries in the region.

In its annual Gender Gap Report published last week, the World Economic Forum (WEF) revealed that healthy life expectancy of both men and women is still low across many countries in the region.

The report revealed that only two countries in the region – Cape Verde and Mauritius where men are expected to live more than 60 years from birth, while in some countries, life expectancy is lower than 50.

In Lesotho healthy life expectancy is 42.3 for men and 46.4 for women. Improving health conditions for all, in addition to narrowing gender gaps in health, remains a priority for the region.

The report also notes that the region has closed a significant part of its gender gap in health and survival by (97.3 percent), although slightly declining from the previous edition.

Eleven countries have achieved gender parity on this sub-index, another 21 have closed between 96.5 percent and 97 percent of their gaps, and only Niger (96.4 perent), Liberia (96.2 percent) and Mali (95.9 percent) have closed less than 96.5 percent of their gaps.

The report examined data from 156 countries, using the same methodology for the past 15 years.

It looks at four indicators: economic opportunity, political power, education and health.

Countries are ranked according to the Global Gender Gap Index, which measures scores across these indicators on a 0 to 100 scale, and these scores are interpreted as distance to gender parity, or the percentage of the gender gap that has been closed in a country.


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