Namibia not happy nation


Namibia dropped lower on the happiness scale according to the latest World Happiness Report (WHR).The updated report, released on the United Nations World Happiness Day on 20 March, shows that Namibia now ranks 12th on the scale of Africa’s happiest countries out of 54 countries, four spots lower than last year’s report. On the world scale, the country is ranked 111 out of 155 countries.The happiness report is measured by seven factors namely; GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, perceptions of corruption as measured by a perceived absence of corruption in government and business, perceived freedom to make life decisions, generosity as measured by recent donations and dystopia as measured by fear of the unknown.The report revealed that happiness differs considerably across employment status, job type, and industry sectors. People in well paid roles are happier, but money is only one predictive measure of happiness. Analysis of changes in life evaluations from 2005-2007 to 2014-2016 continue to show big international differences in the dynamics of happiness, with both the major gainers and the major losers spread among several regions.  Namibia’s WHR score shows a fair amount of GDP per capita, dystopia and social support, low levels of generosity and perception of corruption, a reasonable level of freedom to make life choices and healthy life expectancy.Social science expert Ellison Tjirera says “Happiness is equally a subjective feeling, making it difficult to accurately measure.” The WHR is an indication of how well countries are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in the future. “In as much as position number 12 looks enviable at face value, it could actually point to the fact that things seem very worse in other African countries as opposed to Namibians being ‘very happy’. In other words, there is hardly anything worth celebrating in this ranking,” he further elaborated. Algeria ranked the happiest country in Africa followed by Mauritius, Libya, Morocco, Somalia, Nigeria, South Africa, Tunisia, Egypt, Sierra Leone and Cameroon, with the three least happy countries being Central African Republic, Burundi and Rwanda.The first World Happiness Report was published in April 2012, in support of the High Level Meeting at the United Nations on happiness and well-being.