Saturday, 12 October 2013

Happiest Countries Report; Somalis are happier than Tanzanians!

For those who love world indices on various issue, the World's Happiness Report is out. As norm, African countries ranked the lowest in this index. The report shows that there is no African country in the top fifty with Angola being ranked as the Happiest nation in Africa. Tanzania was ranked a lower than Somaliland and other post-conflict nations such as Liberia, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sierra Leone. 

Six variables are used in the survey, namely GDP per capita, years of healthy life expectancy, social support systems, perception of corruption, prevalence of generosity and the freedom to make life choices. See here for full report.Well going by the variables used, it is evident why Tanzania ranked this low. Although there has been an improvement in health service provision over the years in Tanzania with significant improvements in malaria prevention and treatment provision of healthcare to the rural poor has not been achieved. The other variable of perception of corruption has been our undoing. There has been an increment in corruption related vices in government institution and public service. Institutions such as the police, migration, have been notorious in this. On freedom to make choices, Tanzania remains quite repressive in its laws. Most recently, the repressive Newspapers Act was used to ban Mwananchi and Mtanzania newspapers. There have been calls to amend this retrogressive law but the government remains unconvinced. Social support systems are also lacking. This report reminds the government of its duties especially for the ruling party which campaigned on a platform of "maisha bora kwa kila mtanzania" (Quality life to Every Tanzanian).