Global Connectedness Index updated rankings

The DHL Global Connectedness Index for 2016 is already out. My colleague at IESE Business School Pankaj Ghemawat and his research team are responsible for the index. The index measures how globalized countries are by analyzing the depth of the international interactions, the breadth of their geographic distribution and their directionality, outwards or inwards. We already discussed in this blog the previous report published two years ago, Global connectedness index of African countries. Before analyzing sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) in more detail, let’s highlight some stylized facts about this year’s ranking relative to 2014:

  • The Netherlands still ranks number 1 with a score of 91 out of 100.
  • The new least connected country is Burundi (ranked 140 with a score of 8 out of 100) – Syrian Arab Republic occupied this position in 2014 but it’s no longer included.
  • USA: still ranks 27, with a score of 64.
  • Spain: upgrades one position and now ranks 24, with a score of 67.
Mauritius 41 46 Botswana 117 126
South Africa 47 54 Namibia 119 116
D. R. of Congo 66 53 Benin 121 136
Ghana 79 55 Zambia 122 129
Nigeria 95 38 Cameroon 127 115
Angola 97 94 Uganda 129 121
Madagascar 98 103 Zimbabwe 130 122
The Gambia 101 110 Niger 131 132
Senegal 103 112 Burkina Faso 135 128
Kenya 105 106 Rwanda 136 133
Ethiopia 106 85 Mali 138 117
Ivory Coast 109 78 Burundi 140 137
Mozambique 113 98

Source: DHL Global Connectedness Index


Africa is still the least connected continent in the world, and the SSA region has gone down overall: 15 countries fell in the ranking while only 10 advanced. In the last report there were 9 sub-Saharan countries among the Top-100 (10 if we include Gabon that is no longer considered for the 2016 rankings) and now there are only 7.

The case of Nigeria is of particular interest. It fell from the 38th position to the 95th in only two years. This was driven primarily by the merchandising trade category: exports fell from 35% of GDP to only 10%, and imports from 20% to 10%. Slumping oil prices presumably played a role in shifting both the composition and the geographic distribution of Nigeria’s merchandise exports.

Other countries that fell notably in the rankings are: Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Ethiopia, Ivory Coast, Mozambique and Mali.

DHL Merchandise Trade
Merchandise trade is one of the dimensions of the DHL Global Connectedness Index.

On the other hand, the following countries advanced in the overall rankings:

  • Mauritius has replaced Nigeria in leading the group of SSA countries. This advance comes especially from the depth dimension and particularly from the capital market, experiencing an important increase in the portfolio equity exports.
  • South Africa is now ranked among the Top-50 due to better information figures. The category internet bandwidth, measured with bits per second per internet users went up from 3,720 to 147,630. International phone calls received in the country also increased remarkably.
  • Benin advanced 15 positions because of the improvements in the trade category. Merchandise trade exports went up from 14% of GDP to 24%, and merchandise trade imports rose from 26% to 36%.

Any thoughts on these ranks or scores?

Nadim Elayan, Research Assistant at IESE Business School, collaborated in this article.



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