Uganda, the country of happy people, is in the world ranking

A song composed for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni in 2015 when he visited the country’s war-ravaged northern region had a chorus that said “Dear President Museveni, we are happy to receive you here in Gulu. We live in poverty, being killed by LRA rebels, but all the same, we are very happy.”

Since 2015, Uganda has been ranked by international research firms as one of the best places to live in Africa, and among the countries with the happiest people worldwide.

In 2015, American analytics and advisory company Gallup gave Uganda a Positive Experience Index score of 64, tying with Algeria, Angola, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Estonia, Latvia, Macedonia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and Tajikistan. In that year, Uganda was ranked 90th globally and 23rd in Africa with the happiest people and one of the best places to live.

Similarly, Uganda was ranked the happiest country in East Africa in the World Happiness Report 2021 released last March by the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network. According to the publication, Uganda ranked 83rd globally.

In East Africa, Kenya followed at 86th and Tanzania 94th.

Gallup said its research takes into account both positive and negative experiences in people’s lives such as rest and leisure, and stress, physical pain, anger, worry, and sadness.

“We are naturally happy people. Even when we go through hard times, we remain happy, probably because the Almighty made us so,” Peter Okello, a retired politician from northern Uganda, told Anadolu Agency.

Even when rebels of the Lord’s Resistance Army, a Christian extremist organization, were killing people in the country’s northern region in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and a majority of people were placed in internally displaced people’s camps, he said, they had time in the evenings to gather around fireplaces to sing and dance.

When British Prime Minister Winston Churchill visited Uganda in 1907, he was excited by the beauty of Uganda and its abundance of natural resources in addition to a favorable climate.

“It was not for nothing that Churchill called Uganda ‘the Pearl of Africa,'” Robert Kisitu, a senior secondary schoolteacher of history, told Anadolu Agency.

“Our tourism attractions are among the best on the continent. We have plenty of water and fertile soil. We can grow all types of food without the use of fertilizers. Nature has bestowed many blessings on Uganda. It is not surprising that the majority of Ugandans are happy,” he added.

Uganda’s current Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja claimed in a recent media interview that most Ugandans are happy because of President Museveni’s good leadership.

“For the 35 years President Museveni has been in power, Ugandans have achieved a lot. There is peace all over the country. People can move to anywhere freely during the day or night. Most Ugandans are happy because of the good leadership.”

Uganda’s Vice President Jessica Alupo, speaking at a Women’s Day celebration on March 8 in Kampala, attributed the happiness of Ugandans to the “freedom” given by the government to all citizens.

According to a local senior journalist, David Musenze, Uganda is among the few countries in the world where crops such as maize, soya beans, millet, and others can be sown and harvested twice a year.

He said Uganda is the food basket of East Africa, exporting maize, soybeans, groundnuts, and bananas to all neighboring countries throughout the year.

“We have many lakes from which people can freely go and fish. We have many forests and several national game parks,” Musenze said.

Minister of Agriculture Frank Tumwebaze agreed and said Ugandans are content because the country is gifted with good soil and enough rainfall, which leads to food security.

In a recent speech, Museveni said: “It is good to be happy, but it is also advisable to think about the future by saving some money for development.”


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