WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT: Why Uganda is Ranked Happiest in E. Africa

By Aliker David martin

“The reason people find it so hard to be happy is that they always see the past better than it was, the present worst than it is, and the future less resolved than it would be” –Marcel Pagnol (French Writer, producer and Film Director1895-1974)

The UN last week released the first ever World Happiness Report.

In the report, Uganda is ranked the happiest nation in East Africa. Uganda is placed at position 128 out of 156, and followed by Rwanda at 132 out of 156 countries.

Columbia University’s Earth Institute report considered factors like economic and social support, absence of corruption and degree of personal freedom.

According to Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS) Uganda’s inflation rate slumped to 21.2 percent in March from a revised 25.7 percent in February 2012.

The Central Bank of Uganda ramped up its key lending rate to 23 percent last year after inflation soared on the back of high food and fuel prices.

Uganda’s unemployment rate is at 3.5 percent and that of the youth is at a whopping 32.2 percent while for those with degrees, it’s at 36 percent.

In 2007 Transparency International ranked Uganda 117th most corrupt country out of 178 countries in the world Corruption Perception Index (CPI).

The World Bank report (2005) estimated that Uganda loses $ 300m (510b shillings) through corruption and procurement malpractices.

Last week, the government banned a pressure group Activist for Change (A4C). A4C is campaigning for good governance and freedom in Uganda.

Having mentioned all these snapshots of happiness indicators in Uganda, the question is; with all this poor record, why are Ugandans the happiest nation in East Africa? Continue



By Aliker David Martin

November 16th, 2011

Fear makes the Wolf bigger

Are your fears making you unhappy? Do you worry so much and get depressed? Fear is in the mind. Our fears reflect our perspectives because we try to guard against our fears. A German proverb goes, “fear makes the wolf bigger than he is”. Some times in life, the fear of losing a loved one, or losing a job makes us depressed and unhappy even when we are far from being in danger. But these fears lead us to danger by clouding our sense of judgment. So how do we overcome our fears and avoid getting in to trouble?

While negative thoughts are like poison, positive thoughts are like medicine to the brain. Researchers at the National Institute of Health believe negative thoughts stimulate the areas of the brain involved in depression and anxiety. Our mind is made up of thoughts, beliefs and self-talk. According to scientists, we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. Approximately, 95 percent are thoughts you have had previously. What is startling is that 80 percent of these habitual thoughts are negative. Dr. Daniel Amen, a world-renowned psychiatrist calls them automatic negative thoughts. These means negative thoughts are responsible for our unhappiness.

The secret to your happiness is not trying to get rid of this negative thoughts but accepting that your thoughts are not always true. If we don’t believe everything we hear and we don’t believe everything we read; then we should not believe everything we think. Therefore, if fear is the wolf in us, then when we change our thinking to support our happiness, the wolf gets smaller.