The World Happiness Report 2017 says Africans who have social support as measured by a set of friends to count on at all times, have freedom to make life choices, and can hold their governments accountable to prevent corruption, are the happiest.
Additionally, the fifth annual study reports by the United Nations Development Solution Network’s says that other long established recipes for happiness are Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and healthy years of life expectancy among other things.
The report's measurements of subjective well-being can also be used effectively to assess national progress by highlighting policy implications by case studies. It also measures causes of misery.
The report covers the period of years from 2014-16 and collected data from over 155 countries worldwide of which 44 were African countries.
Compiled below are the ten happiest countries in Africa, according to the World Happiness Report 2017.
Ranked number one for a second consecutive time, Algeria is the happiest country in Africa. Globally, it dropped 15 positions to number 53.
According to World Happiness Report, GDP per capita and social support played big role in the ranking for the North Africa country with a Mediterranean coastline and a Sahara desert interior.
Also sticking to its last year position is Mauritius, the Indian Ocean island nation with a booming economy. The citizens expressed faith in its social support system but also the GDP per capita was equally important helping the ranking with lower perceptions of corruption experienced in the country.
Healthy life expectancy also boosted the happiness ranking. Mauritius also had the advantage of having a small population which enables the government meet needs of the population easily.
The current situation may make Libya rightfully be termed as fractured and chaotic but that didn’t stop the country from been ranked number 3 as the happiest country in Africa and number 68 globally.
Social support and GDP per capita played the biggest role for the ranking.
Globally ranked number 84, Morocco the country that rejoined Africa Union in January 2017 after more than 30 years in the cold, it has been ranked number 4 in Africa happiest countries.
In Morocco happiness came from GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy and freedom to make life choices.
Dropping a position lower, Somalia even if marred by famine and conflicts, has been ranked the fifth happiest country in Africa. But unlike most African states on the list, Somalia does not depend on GDP per capita to be ranked high.
Social support and freedom to make life choices kept the country highly ranked. However, like previous year, the country has inequality in terms of happiness.
Militant Islamist group Boko Haram might be causing havoc in the country through waves of bombings, assassinations and abductions, but Nigeria remains a happy nation according to the UN’s report.
Social support followed by GDP per capita contributed to the high ranking while healthy life expectancy and perception on corruption barely making any impact.
7. South Africa
After South Africa fired its Finance Minister, its currency, the rand plummeted. But that does not affect the happiness of the country as shown by newly released World Happiness Report.
Shooting from 15 positions last year, South Africa in the report showed social support and GDP per capita has major influence on their happiness.
Freedom to make life choices had a great impact too on the ranking with perception on corruption least influential.
Dropping three positions from number five, Tunisia happiness ranking was supported by GDP per capita, social support and healthy life expectancy with freedom to make life choices making a good contribution.
To climb 16 positions up from last year ranking to number 9, Egypt relied on its GDP per capita and social support. Healthy life expectancy also propelled the country ranking in the scale of Africa happiest countries.
Globally, the country US President Trump has shifted course on is ranked number 104.
10. Sierra Leone
After recovery from civil war and most recently from Ebola epidemic, Sierra Leone, the West Africa country known for its white beaches and slave trade history has jumped five positions to number 5.
High social support is one to thank for in the rankings while GDP per capita and freedom to make life choices almost contributed equally.
The unhappiest countries in Africa are South Sudan ranked 37th, followed by Liberia, Guinea and Togo. Rwanda comes in 41st followed by its East African sister Tanzania, while Burundi came in 43rd and closing the list is Central African Republic in position 44th.