Uganda is the Happiest Nation in East Africa

In East Africa, Uganda is the happiest, Rwanda is unhappy, and Kenya is the unhappiest nation according to the World Happiness Report.

President Kaguta Museveni PHOTO I Mar 10, 2022

In East Africa, Uganda is the happiest, Rwanda is unhappy, and Kenya is the unhappiest nation.

This is according to the World Happiness Report published by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network.

The report said that Ugandans were the happiest people in the East African region two places ahead of Kenya at number 117.

Rwanda was ranked the most unhappy country in the six-nation East African Community bloc and fourth-worst globally ahead of Zimbabwe, Lebanon, and Afghanistan (the unhappiest in the world).

Tanzania is ranked at number 139 out of the 146 countries globally, while Ethiopia is at position 131.

Uganda’s first ranking in the region makes a joke of the strong economic status of Kenya — economists put Kenya as the strongest economy in the region.

Kenya ranked 23rd in Africa with Mauritius having the highest levels of happiness among its citizens, at position 52 out of the 146 countries ranked with an average life evaluation of 6.071.

However, that seems not to have translated to the daily well-being of the 50 million-plus citizens, however, the report shows that Kenya in 2021 jumped two steps forward from position 121 to 119, out of the 150 countries surveyed, in terms of how happy her citizens are.

The survey findings, which were ahead of the annual International Day of Happiness celebrated Sunday (March 20), showed a slight decline in the measure used to ask Kenyans to rate their life from 4.607 previously to 4.543.

Among factors, the World Happiness Report considers in determining levels of happiness include people’s trust in government and institutions, poverty, and conflicts.

“The findings demonstrate that communities with high levels of trust are happier and more resilient in the face of a wide range of crises,” the report states.

Respondents cited the perception of widespread corruption in government as the biggest driver of negative emotions.

Kenya has for years been in the global spotlight for corruption largely in public procurement, with former Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) chairman Philip Kinisu estimating in March 2016 that as much as a third of the annual budget is lost to graft.

Globally, Finland has been named the happiest country for the fifth year in a row, followed by Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, and the Netherlands in that order of top five.

Mauritius, which is ranked 52nd in the world, has been named the happiest in Africa, followed by Libya, Ivory Coast, South Africa, and The Gambia.

Adapted from NaiHaps

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IK is a Masinde Muliro University graduate. His interests are in news and analysis on women's rights, politics, technology, law, and global affairs.

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