Sierra Leone ranked least happy among countries in the Mano River Union as well as among the least happy in Africa according to the Global Happiness Levels in 2021.
At 3.8 percent, Sierra Leone ranked below Guinea, The Gambia, Liberia and Ivory Coast which rank at 5%, 5.1%, 4.6%, and 5.3% respectively.
The report looks at more intangible aspects, collecting survey responses around:
- Social support
- Freedom to make life choices
- Perceptions of government/ business corruption
- Positive or negative affects (Recent experience of emotions)
It also takes into consideration the negative impact measure of the COVID-19 pandemic on happiness levels, such as exacerbating mental health risks. In addition, such measurements varied depending on each country’s response to the crisis.
“It’s generally understood that having enough money to cover your needs and wants can help you live a relatively happy, comfortable life—and recent research shows this relationship may increase linearly as income levels grow, as well.
“However, there’s much more to it than that. Happiness levels depend not just on financial security, but also broader perceptions of one’s social support, personal freedom, and more.”
The series of map pulls data from the World Happiness Report to uncover the average scores of 149 countries between 2018-2020, and which ones emerged the happiest or unhappiest, and also look at the most and least improved countries in every region.
Efforts are however being made in Sierra Leone to address the impact of Covid-19 as well as creating the enabling environment for sustainable investment in the country.
According to Desmond Koroma, a businessman in Freetown, the factors affecting sustainable economic growth in the country and is the country’s reliance on the mining sector as well as the uneven international trade.
For us to be happy there need to be jobs, peace, and stability,” he lamented, adding that the Government is working hard to fill in the gaps but there are two many challenges to address.
“Presently the country is in high momentum,” he noted, citing the country’s national soccer team successful qualification for the African Nations Cup.