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Monday, July 4, 2022

New Report ranks Sierra Leone one of Africa’s unhappiest countries

Sierra Leone is one of Africa’s unhappiest countries, according to the just-released edition of the World Happiness Report published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, an independent nonprofit based in the United States. Using statistical analysis, the report ranks 146 countries in happiness.

Mauritius is Africa’s happiest country while Zimbabwe is the most unhappy, states the report.

Next to Mauritius in the happiest echelon is Libya, followed by Côte d’Ivoire, South Africa, Gambia, and Algeria. Liberia, Congo, Morocco, and Mozambique round up the top 10 most happy countries in Africa.

On top of the least happy countries is Zimbabwe, followed by Rwanda, Botswana, Lesotho, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Togo, and Mauritania.

However, the list raises eyebrows in many areas. For example, Libya is the second most happy country in Africa even though a civil crisis that erupted in that country following the Arab Spring protests in 2011 is yet to abate.

Also, while Rwanda is considered one of Africa’s most prosperous countries and is, in fact, a world leader in women’s political representation and ICT, the country is only next to Zimbabwe in the unhappy category. However, the report notes it did not apply recent data in the case of Rwanda.

Still, the report indicates Sierra Leoneans are happier than Rwandans.

Nigeria is 21st in Africa, just below Ghana.

Globally, the happiest country is Finland and the most unhappy country is Afghanistan—no surprise, given the reign of terror unleashed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Joining Finland in the global top 10 are Denmark, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Sweden, Norway, Israel, and New Zealand.

Canada is 15th, followed by the United States and the United Kingdom.

A series of unfortunate events may have affected happiness levels in Sierra Leone, including the Ebola epidemic of 2014-2015 and the 2017 mudslides during which thousands were killed.

These disastrous events have been exacerbated lately by the COVID-19 pandemic that has severely stunted economic growth.

The report itself acknowledges that “The recent pandemic has likely had a strong impact on popular conceptions of what is most important for a good life, and indeed on how society can foster collective improvements to well-being.”

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