The Times carried today on page 7, a news report that Ghana has been ranked 124th in the 2016 World Happiness Index released to commemorate the United Nations (UN) International Day of Happiness at the weekend.
The International Day of Happiness which is celebrated throughout the world on March 20, every year, was instituted on June 28, 2012 by the UN General Assembly, when all 193 member states unanimously adopted the UN’s Resolution 66/281.
The Times considers as very laudable, the fact that the world body, despite the enormous problems confronting it, finds it appropriate to give thought to the people’s wellbeing and happiness.
We, however, find an issue with Ghana’s ranking, especially when we are placed well behind other African countries like Algeria, Libya, Nigeria, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Namibia, Cameroun, Ethiopia, South Africa, Egypt and Kenya.
The mere fact that Ghana is ranked behind all these nations raises eyebrows, and we believe the Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which issued the report, has much explanation to give.
The report describes Denmark as the happiest place on earth, and lists Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia and Sweden in the top ten.
The United States is ranked 13, Germany, 16, United Kingdom, 23, and France, 32.
According to the report, the analysis of the survey is based on individual life evaluations, where people are asked to put a value on their level of general happiness from zero to ten, with zero representing the worst possible life, and ten being the best possible life.
It says the factors considered for each country, in addition to the life evaluation of the respondents, were the GDP per capita, social support, healthy life expectancy, social freedom, generosity and absence of corruption.
The Times finds the assessment very questionable, and wonders when the survey was conducted, and who the respondents were.
We are of the conviction that going by the criteria used, Ghana should be ranked very high, instead of the lowly position of 124 which they think they have gifted to us.
Despite the challenges that confront us, we have always managed to surmount them and kept our smiles on. Indeed, Ghanaians have always found something to laugh about in every situation. We are a bunch of jolly people.
Whatever the report is worth, we in Ghana know this is the best nation in the world worth living in, in terms of peace and personal happiness.
So to the people, we say: ‘Don’t’ worry, be happy!’