Editor’s Note: March 27, 2018

Is Africa really the world’s unhappiest place?

Africa is the unhappiest continent in the world. This is according to the UN’s World Happiness Report 2018. The ranking covers 156 countries using Gallup World Poll data, with respondents asked to rate their lives on a scale of 0 – 10.

Finland ranks first, with Scandinavia dominates the top ten. A few Western European countries, Australia, New Zealand and Canada making up the rest.

The highest ranked African country is Mauritius at 55, and there are just six countries from the continent in the top 100. Most are clustered towards the bottom with eight of the bottom ten in Africa.

How reliable is this?

There are some strange results. Libya, a country in a state of civil war since 2011, is apparently Africa’s second-happiest at rank 70. Meanwhile stable and prospering Rwanda sits at 151.

There is however an interesting correlation. 

The best performing countries are also known for quality public and social services. Put differently, development and happiness seem related.

What exactly constitutes “development” is of course debatable, yet the ranking suggests there is a connection between levels of happiness and having access to things like quality healthcare, education and infrastructure. 

This should not come as a surprise.

From The Continent

José Filomeno dos Santos, the son of former Angolan president José Eduardo dos Santos,  has been charged with fraud relating to an alleged illegal transfer of $500m from the country’s central bank. This comes less than two weeks after prosecutors charged former central bank governor Valter Filipe da Silva in the case. More: BBC

Kenyan authorities have reportedly detained high profile opposition figure Miguna Miguna, who was deported to Canada last month for his role in the symbolic swearing in of opposition leader Raila Odinga as “the people’s president.” Miguna is an ally of Odinga and has called his reconciliation with president Kenyatta a “betrayal". More: Reuters

The Daily Stat


The number of years Islamist-group Boko Haram have been fighting an insurgency in Nigeria. More: Bloomberg

The Global Perspective

Sudan and Qatar are reportedly planning a $4bn deal to develop the Red Sea Port of Suakin on Sudan’s coast. The move is likely to anger neighbouring Egypt, which accuses Qatar of supporting the banned Muslim Brotherhood. More: Reuters 

The Democratic Republic of Congo has refused $123m of international aid to help fund elections slated for December, claiming it will interfere in the country’s sovereignty.President Joseph Kabila has overstayed his mandate, stoking tensions in the mineral-rich country. More: Africanews 

The Daily Follow

WFP West Africa @WFP_WAfrica News and updates on food security from the World Food Programme in West Africa.