The situation in Libya right now is often described as fractured and chaotic. The internationally-recognised administration headed by Abdullah al-Thinni was ousted from the capital Tripoli last year, and operates out of hotels in the eastern city of Benghazi – and all the while, the Islamic State has taken advantage of the anarchy to establish a foothold on the African continent.
So it’s entirely surprising that the just-released report would rank Libya as the happiest country in Africa.
Algeria is the second-happiest country in Africa, and in contrast to Libya, has been spared most of the turmoil that has rocked North Africa in the past four years.
Mauritius comes third in Africa, the little island nation regularly tops all the “good” rankings in Africa.
In fourth place is Nigeria, Africa’s biggest economy, which remains happy despite the havoc wreaked by Boko Haram attacks in the north in recent years.
Fifth is Zambia, which tends to be a quiet land, at least by African standards.
The most miserable countries in Africa are not the poorest, or even the ones most affected by terrorism, war or instability. They are a mixed bag, and in fact, some of them have posted strong economic growth figures.
Togo is the unhappiest country in Africa, and neighbouring Benin is third from last. It’s intriguing that two gloomy countries could be right next to the very happy Nigeria.