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According to the report, happiness is used to measure social and democratic progress. The World Happiness Report was first released in 2012 and since become an annual report.

The 2017 World Happiness Report has revealed the rating of all countries across the globe, but 10 African countries seem to experience more elements of happiness than others.

World Happiness report adopts a combination of indicators such as GDP per capita, average life expectancy, trust in governance, freedom of speech and making choices, citizens’ ability to hold governments accountable, social support, and generosity to rank countries across the world.

Here are 10 happiest countries in Africa.

1.    Algeria

Algeria is a popular destination for tourists and investors because of its cities ,views of the coast, cliffs and other delights.

According to the World Happiness Report 2017, Algeria is the happiest country in Africa and ranked 53 across the globe.

2.    Mauritius

Mauritius is famous as a major tourist destination for visitors from across the world. The country is also referred to as the most advanced democracy in the region.

Based on the WHR 2017, Mauritius is ranked the second happiest country in Africa. The country also offered a ground for integration of all religions and cultures across the world. An example is the celebrations of the Chinese New Year in the country.

3.    Libya

The rank of the North-African country comes as a surprise entry to many, as it is currently undergoing a political turmoil.

Libya was ranked the third happiest country in Africa, according to the World Happiness Report 2017. Despite the lawlessness, Libyans are known to be generally warm, friendly, and extremely hospitable. Visitors often praise the Libyan people for their kindness and respect they show to others.

4.    Morocco

Morocco is another city acknowledged for its composition happy and warm people. One of its cities – Fez is known as the “Athens of Africa.”

Morocco was ranked the 4th African country with the happiest people. A local was reported to have said “You don’t need a visa to get into Fez” – a city in Morocco, “you just need a smile.”

5.    Somalia

Somalia ranking above countries like Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa is also surprising. Somalia was ranked the fifth happiest country in Africa.

Unlike other African countries, what pushed Somalia up the list are the availability of social supports and freedom to make life choices.


6.    Nigeria

Despite the economic recession and insecurity challenges, Nigeria was ranked the 6th happiest country in Africa in the WHR 2017.

According to the report, Nigerians have found a way to be happy irrespective of the social and economic challenges its residents are facing.  Hence, people in the country are noted as welcoming, warm, and eager to help whenever you are in need of assistance. This attribute is what you get across the country. The optimism of the people that situation would get better is one of the factors retaining the country on the list.

7.    South Africa

South Africa is one of the most developed countries on the continent and is able to offering infrastructure and facilities to enhance people’s welfare.

8.    Tunisia

Tunisia is the 8th happiest country on the continent, and this is attributed to her improving per capita GDP, economic growth, as well as a strong social fabric. The country has also been noted to have a conducive environment that promotes peace and cohesion. Its social norms are noted to dictate good etiquette, address and treat people with respect.

9.     Egypt

Egypt is one of the largest countries on the continent. The North African country was ranked 9th on the continent by World Happiness Report 2017. Egyptians are noted to be highly religious, and this helped them to successfully pass through numerous societal challenges.

In general, citizens of the country are very friendly and helpful people, and most of them would go the extra mile to help out. And also love to chat.

10.    Ethiopia

Ethiopia is one of Africa’s emerging economic powerhouses and has managed to put in great efforts in keeping its people happy. The country was ranked 10th in Africa by the World Happiness Report 2017. Many religions in the country were noted to peacefully co-exist and people on its streets shows how warmth the country is.

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The money, originally deposited in Luxembourg by Sani Abacha, was reportedly confiscated by a Swiss court in late 2014 and in March last year, the two states signed an agreement on its repatriation. Around $321 million in public funds stolen by former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha will be returned to the African country, Switzerland said Monday.

"In accordance with policy on repayment of national assets taken illegally, Switzerland has agreed with Nigeria and the World Bank to return nearly US$321 for the benefit of the Nigerian people," the Swiss government said in a statement.

Military ruler Abacha, in power from 1993 until his death in 1998, is suspected to have embezzled $2.2 billion from Nigeria's central bank in what the United States has called "brazen acts of kleptocracy".

The Swiss statement said these funds were frozen in a legal procedure by Geneva's public prosecutor against Abba Abacha, Sani Abacha's son.

It said the return of the funds would be supported and supervised by the World Bank, adding that the move should "strengthen social security for the poorest Nigerians".

When the agreement was announced, Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter had said the fight against corruption was "one of Switzerland's priorities".

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has led a purge of corruption since taking office in 2015, vowing to recover what he said were "mind-boggling" sums of money stolen over decades.

 

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Lagos has been ranked the second cheapest city to live in the world by Emigrants. This makes it the cheapest city to live in Africa.

According to a report by the Economic Intelligence Unit of the Economist, the cost of living in the city has dropped significantly over the last year, hence improving the standard of living of expatriates working in Lagos. In addition, the collapse of the value of Naira against the dollar was identified as another factor that inspired the new ranking.

As a result, Lagos fell 16 places to 132nd on the World priciest cities index for 2017. Thus, joining the cities like Almaty in Kazakhstan, Bangalore in India, Karachi in Pakistan and Algiers in Algeria in the bottom five cheapest cities in the world. [Pulse]

 

“Although Nigeria has been attracting significant interest and investment in recent years, the fall in global oil prices has driven a collapse in the value of the Nigerian naira, which pushed down relative pricing, despite strong local inflation,” the report highlighted.

 

“The relative cost of living in Lagos has more than halved since 2008, which might signal renewed interest from foreign investors, with price levels so low by international standards.“



 [Image: Pulse]


Cost of living in metropolitan Asian cities was stated to be more expensive than other cities across the world. Cities in the region dominated the top five expensive cities in the ranking. Singapore was ranked the most expensive city in the world and was followed by Hong Kong, Zurich, Tokyo and Osaka.

The Worldwide Cost of Living index is a survey conducted twice-yearly, and it samples opinion of more than 400 individual prices across 160 products and services that include food, rent, transport and recreational costs, among others.

 

Is living in really Lagos cheap?

For native Nigerians however, living in Lagos is considered expensive. The case is different for expatriates working in the city as they earn in dollars,putting them in an advantageous position, and making life in the city relatively cheaper when compared with other major cities in Africa.

 

There is a high cost of infrastructure and access to social amenities in Lagos to all class of residents. This is because most of the needed public utilities are either absent or in poor condition. This situation cuts across education, health, public transport among others. The worst of them is the public electric power supply.

Expatriates are made to rely on private institutions which usually come at a great expense to foreign workers living in the city. For example, a standard private school offering British or American syllabi could cost as high as between $5000-$10000 per annum.

 

Other areas of high cost are transportation and relaxation or leisure activities. Commuting in the city is commonly via road transport, and most of the road networks are in bad shape while the city's traffic clog is legendary.

On an average, a resident of the city expends about N40,000 ($114)on transport within the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Easterners are known for a lot of things, both good and bad... Same goes for every tribe, ethnic, country, continent and race. We taking them bit by bit, so here you have them, the 5 distinct things you can relate with Easterners. 

Perfection:

The Easterners are people of perfection. They don’t always throw parties every day, but when there’s an event, there’s always a process, a way the event planner wants it to be, and a way everyone makes it be. It’s not about wedding event particularly, but any hangout, business deals, proposals, receipts, quotations, etc. Everything must be on point, especially if it’s a contract job.

They are everywhere:

There’s no place you can go, literally, physically, magically, by whatever means, that you wouldn’t meet someone from the East. I guess when history said they were descendants of Hebrews, this is what they meant. The easterners are great travelers. They are living in every part of Nigeria, in Africa and all over the world. Don’t be surprised if you ever meet an Easterner, living on an exotic cabin boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sadly, Ritual:

When it comes to the love of money, they are still leading. While most believe in Business and Entrepreneurship, some believe in the quick roll in of cash. While some states have successfully kicked them off the pyramid of witchcraft & cultism (I am not calling any names. lol – I think they know themselves), ritual crafts are popular in the east. While some ritualists have seasons like Easter & Xmas, others are all weather ready to operate.

Lavish Burials:

The Easterners spend lavishly on Burials. Before you think all well about this, it is safe to say they do that mostly in Burials. Sometimes, they hoard money so much; they don’t spend much on themselves or on people till their death (few would disagree with this but it’s almost the truth). They usually tag it to giving the dead a burial, befitting for a legend…. Which is great but I do think if the dead had that amount of money given to them when alive, to live a stress free life or enjoy some few years of travelling, they would be more grateful and won’t even mind being buried without all the millions (I know I would prefer the later).

Profit Bound:

Most like everything with extra cash or gain attached to it. Most Easterners barely assemble for any gathering, just to have fun. Call an Easterner to show up some place, first thing most of them would ask is if there’s something coming out and what’s in it for them. This is absolutely why most top entrepreneurs can’t host many things in the East that would require the youths to just turn up, have fun, connect and exchange ideas. Everything for most is just about the cash or nothing…. Like where do you just turn up without offering a value and money turns up magically? How can money ever trump connection? Connection can bring you money, but money can't bring you connection.

All these applies to a whole lot of people outside the East but the aye in the East is more.


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Denmark has officially apologized to Ghana for the active role it played during the slave trade era. A delegation from the Danish government being led by the Queen Margrethe II is in Ghana on an official visit.

 

The Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen who is part of the delegation described the slave business as “sinful” which must never be entertained.

“We share a dark history of slave trade; it is sinful and an unforgivable part of any history. Nothing can justify it, the expectations of men, women and children, in which Denmark took part,” Mr Samuelsen noted at a joint press conference with his Ghanaian counterpart Shirley Ayorko Botchway.

“Nothing can justify it,” He stressed.

 

On her part, Ghana’s Foreign Minister Mrs Botchway briefed the media about what the two countries are doing to deal with the issue of illegal migration.

“Illegal migration and its associated challenges have been receiving lots of attention in the past few years. We deliberated on the underlining causes such as poverty, pervasive youth unemployment, the proliferation of conflict and endemic instability in parts of our continent,” she revealed.

 

She added: “We decided to work together towards stemming the tide of illegal migration, particularly the activities of human traffickers. At the same time we are committed to tackling the root causes of mass migration.”

The Danish delegation later moved into a high profile meeting with President Akufo-Addo. The Queen is in Ghana with 38 Danish companies.

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Money is the oil to a stress-free Life. It is the reason why we wake up early everyday and sleep late at night. Money can dissolve more quickly than it is made except when properly managed. Saving & Budgeting is not as easy as the quotes make it appear to be. You need the application of the same principles you used for making it, in saving it too. The Holiday is by the corner, so in the spirit of Christmas, here are 5 ways to spend and save money:

Set Aside Some Cash:

Ever heard of piggy or wooden box saving? It’s almost a habit we forget all the time. The stacking of all those little amounts our uncles and aunts would usually give us during every visit. Learn to put aside little amounts everyday from your wallet or pocket; maybe N200 to N1000 every new day. You will be surprised by how much you would make out of these little savings by the end of a month or 6 months or a year if you decide to keep it so.

Invest in People’s Businesses:

Stop keeping all your cash in the bank. Make some investments into other people’s businesses. Not just any business let it be a business that shows the potential of lasting for a long time. Agree on the payment process. You would be amazed how much this can make for you.

Pay a Visit to Your Bank:

Pay a visit to your bank manager. Ask for saving programs or promos that is currently running. There are also programs that enables you spend to save. Find out what to cut out from; too much alerts and debits that goes uncounted.

Collect Your Balances:

Don’t be too frugal or a shrewd but you need to start collecting all your balances. The keke driver has no N10 balance to give you, God will provide for him to do that. Don't feel guilty or weird having to wait a little for those little amounts. Put yourself in the position of not having enough transport fare on you. 90% of bus drivers won’t collect N1 less transport fare from you. Imagine how much you would make overtime, if you stack up those entire little sum.

Make a Budget:

There is this popular budget rule known as “the 50/20/30 budget rule.” This translates to dividing your monthly cash into 3 parts, especially as the breadwinner or just as an individual who needs to learn how to budget. It goes to say 50% of your cash goes into paying for essential bills, 20% goes into improving your financial health (investments) and 30% goes into your personal living (things you need to buy to live good & healthy).

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A system of governing where citizens elect people to represent them, make decisions on their behalf and guide them is known as Democracy. For the black continent, it is a system just evolving and gaining more acceptances.

 

As such, some countries seem to have gotten the hang of democracy over the years while others like Zimbabwe and others, not so much.

These African countries have been identified to have the most efficient and long-lasting democratic governments.

 

Zambia:

Zambia, which was known as Northern Rhodesia, became a republic after it gained independence in 1964. It is a country with a population of 16 million people, and has enjoyed a long stint of democracy since 1991. This is after its Prime Minister; Kenneth Kaunda voluntarily resigned after 3 decades of ruling.

In 2010, Zambia was named of the world's fastest economically reformed countries by the World Bank.  As at 2016, the country was ranked 77 on the Global Democracy Index.

 

Kenya:

Although Kenya went through a political turmoil during Presidential elections in 2007, it has one of the most stable democracies in Africa. There have been over five successive transitional processes in the country since independence. Also, an attempt by the Military to seize power in 1982 was stopped by people's efforts.

Kenya’s position on the Democracy Index as of 2016 is currently 92.

 

Tanzania:

Tanzania got its independence from the Britain in 1962, and has since enjoyed democratic transition of power. In the country, president and members of the country's National Assembly serve for five year before facing another election.

Last year, the country elected a new President, Mr John Magufuli, and he has begun reform processes that strengthen public institutions in the country.

Tanzania is currently number 83 on the Democracy Index as of 2016.

 

Senegal:

Senegal is a country of 13 million citizens. It is one of the few African states that has never experienced a coup or any harsh authoritarian leadership since Independence.

Senegal's first president, Léopold Sédar Senghor, voluntarily handed over power to his Prime Minister in 1981.

In 2016, the country is ranked 75 on the global democracy index.

 

Botswana:

Botswana gained independence from the Britain in 1966, and recently celebrated 51 years of freedom. With a population of 2 million citizens, the country boasts of having the fastest growing economy worldwide.

Just like Senegal, Botswana has been lucky not to have experienced a military coup or non-democratic leader.

Botswana ranked 27 on the Democracy Index as of 2016, thus making it one of the highest-ranking African countries on the index.[Business Insider]

 

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The United States has laid claim to $300 million stashed abroad by Nigeria's late military dictator, Sani Abacha.

According to reports, America allegedly told a court in an unnamed foreign country that it had an interest in the loot because it was saved in its currency, the US dollar. Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice Abubakar Malami (SAN) and rights activist Mr Femi Falana (SAN) made the claims in Lagos.

Falana also accused the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) of failing to remit over $21.7 billion since 1999. He urged the Federal Government to extend efforts to recover looted funds to “the few Nigerians who have been indicted in the Panama and Paradise papers. The EFCC and the Federal Inland Revenue Service should recover appropriate taxes from the offshore companies set up by such individuals,” Falana said.

Falana, who accused the United States, Switzerland, the UK and other western nations of hypocritical behaviour in Nigeria’s quest to recover loot stashed in their banks, identified the US as the country concerned.

He said: “Nigeria traced part of the Abacha loot (over $300m) to Jersey, an island in the United Kingdom. The Attorney-General filed a process to – by the way I was in that country when the person was convicted. The money left Nigeria through Kenya and landed in Jersey. It was from the late Abacha. Nigeria wanted to collect the remaining loot. But the United States filed an objection, saying the money could not be released to Nigeria. The court asked why; the US said if the money must be released, it should be released to the US government, so that ‘we can manage it for Nigeria. The other one, $321 million, Switzerland, a notorious conduit for corruption, had the temerity to say that ‘unless the World Bank is going to manage this money, we are not going to release this money.’”

Falana urged the Federal Government not to depend on the West in its loot recovery drive.

“The United Nations Convention against Corruption has made adequate provisions against corruption; mandating countries to assist each other but western countries have not been helping us. Our government should stop relying on the west.”

He said he had advised, and the government was considering, suing foreign banks illegally holding onto funds stolen from Nigeria. He added: “From five cycles of independent audit reports covering 1999-2012 the National Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative revealed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, some oil companies and certain agencies of the Federal Government have withheld $20.2 billion from the Federation Account.

 

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Stakeholders have identified multiplicity of regulatory agencies, cumbersome documentation process, poor import infrastructure, high and duplicated charges as reasons why Nigeria exports are rejected abroad.

Speaking in Lagos through its President, Lucky Awimero, the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents (NCMDLCA), said until agencies responsible for export are streamlined, Nigeria export would continue to be rejected abroad.

The agencies responsible for exportation in Nigeria include pre-Shipment Inspection of Export Agents, Federal Department of Forestry, Federal Produce Inspection Service and the Plant Quarantine Service.

He said, “The duplication of the four agencies needs to be streamlined, as it constitutes serious bottleneck due to lengthy and cumbersome process and cost, which resulted to associated delays, that necessitated the movement of our products to neighboring West African ports and the rejection of our products in international markets.”

He continued, “the duplicated Shipping Line and Terminal Charges (THC)(TDC) that are not tied to service should be streamlined, including the lengthy and cumbersome procedures, to ease the burden of delays and high cost of shipping.”

Amiwero who also complained over the collapse of scanners at seaports and land borders across the country said the collapse had led to increase in cost of doing business.

“The collapsed scanners at the Port contributes to laborious and costly inspection, manual, physical inspection, with limitation and double handing to terminal operator, the Customs officers and the Licensed Customs Agent who are at risk of unwholesome importation, are part of the problem.

“Others are malfunctioning scanners. Scanners are installed as security and facilitating tools , contracted under Build, Own, Operate and Transfer basis (BOOT) from 2006 to 2013 and the Transfer process was meant to address the state of collapse, which has attracted extra cost to Licensed Custom Agents/Importers. The state now constitutes a serious threat to the Customs officers who are compelled to conduct physical examination in contravention of international standards.

“Scanners are essential tools to aid trading across borders and reduce the illicit cross border movement of unwholesome goods, which is prevalent today in our ports and border station.”

He however advised that the scanners should be repaired in line with recommendations of the committee setup by government.

“The scanners should be repaired in line with the recommendation of Transition Implementation Committee.”

Speaking on duplication of charges by shipping companies and terminal operators, the NCMDLCA boss said shipping companies and terminal operators charges on storage contravenes the Customs and Excise Management (CEMA) Act.

“Shipping companies and terminal operators’ charges on storage contravenes sections 20, 31 and 97 of the Customs and Excise Management Act that limit the days for rent charges and conferred authority to Nigeria Customs to charge rent after specific days by the Board.

“Duplication of charges such as terminal delivery charges/ terminal handling charges, deposit repayment delays and clumsy processes contribute to the challenge”, he said.

 

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The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Audu Ogbeh has said Nigeria’s non-oil sector is growing with N261.92 billion earnings in the second quarter of the year from Agric exports.

Ogbeh spoke at the official unveiling of the Nigeria Agribusiness Resource Centre for Agricultural Investment at the weekend in Abuja.

Highlights: He said agricultural export increased by 82 percent in the fourth quarter of 2016 and earnings from the sector stood at about N30 billion in the first quarter of the year.

According to the minister, the country earned N3.7 billion from the export of sesame seed to Turkey, N1.6 billion to China and N1.6 billion to Canada.

Ogbeh said in the first quarter, N3.4 billion was made on Soya bean export to Russia, N1.2 billion to Greece, N2.2 billion was earned from the export of frozen Shrimps to Netherlands, N1.8 billion made from cashew nuts export to Vietnam and crude palm kernel oil export to The Netherlands netted N1.2 billion.

The minister listed destinations of agricultural exports in the second quarter as including to Asia, Europe, America, Africa and the Oceanic.

He said the country earned N13.5 billion from cashew nuts export to Vietnam with N12.6 billion, India (N1.4 billion) and Kazakhstan (N6.34 million).

African Lead Regional Director Carla Denizard said the resource centre was established in response to the request by the ministry’s Department of Agriculture and Marketing to bridge the knowledge gap in the sector and enable investors to have access to information.

 

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