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West Africa: Guinea outscores Côte d’Ivoire as the happiest country

Wednesday, 22 March 2023 16:05
West Africa: Guinea outscores Côte d’Ivoire as the happiest country

(Ecofin Agency) - Guinea, which is currently undergoing a political transition, is now the happiest country in West Africa, according to the 2023 edition of the World Happiness Index. Ranked 5th in Africa and 91st in the world, it is ahead of Côte d'Ivoire, whose score has dropped from last year.

Guinea is now the happiest country in West Africa. This is at least what the 2023 edition of the World Happiness Report (WHR) -which ranks the happiest countries in the world based on data collected in 2022- reveals.

According to the report, Guinea ranks 5th in Africa and 91st in the world. With a score of 5.07 out of 10, it outpaced Côte d'Ivoire, whose score has dropped from 5.2 (last year) to 5.05. With that score, Côte d’Ivoire is now the second happiest country in West Africa, the sixth in Africa, and 93rd in the world (compared to 88th place in 2022). 

The WHR measures subjective well-being based on three main indicators of well-being: life evaluations, positive emotions, and negative emotions (described in the report as positive and negative effects). Its ranking primarily takes into account people's evaluations of life in their countries based on the Gallup survey -Respondents evaluate their current life as a whole using a rating scale of 10 for the best and 0 for the worst.- The evaluations are influenced by the level of GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, freedom, generosity, and corruption.

"Each respondent provides a numerical response on this scale, referred to as the Cantril ladder. Typically, around 1,000 responses are gathered annually for each country. Weights are used to construct population-representative national averages for each year in each country. We base our usual happiness rankings on a three-year average of these life evaluations since the larger sample size enables more precise estimates," the report explains. 

Guinea's performance in the rankings comes against a backdrop of political transition after the coup that toppled former president Alpha Conde in 2021. Although the impacts of the major reforms announced by the new president Mamady Doumbouya are yet to be seen, social media posts show that the coup has raised the hopes of the youth who have mostly disavowed the former regime. 

In Africa, Mauritius, Algeria, and South Africa are the three happiest countries. They are followed by Congo and Guinea, forming the top 5. Sierra Leone stands out as the least happy country on the continent with Zimbabwe and the DRC being the second and third respectively. 

For Algeria, South Africa, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Uganda, and Zambia, the study is based on surveys conducted in 2020 and 2021, as no surveys are available for 2022.

Moutiou Adjibi Nourou

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ECOFIN AGENCY offers a selection of articles translated from AGENCE ECOFIN. Founded in 2011, Agence Ecofin is a leader in Francophone Pan-African economic news, particularly in West and Central Africa. The agency publishes daily news on nine African economic sectors: Public Management, Finance, ICT, Agribusiness, Energy, Mining, Transport & Logistics, Communication, and Training.

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