Kenya has dropped 33 places to rank 119th globally in the 2022 Happiness Index, down from 86 last year.
In the region, Uganda ranked as the happiest country. Like Kenya, Tanzania dropped down to 139 from 94 the previous year.
Rwanda ranked as East Africa’s unhappiest country in position 143.
The significant drop has been attributed primarily to the sky-rocketing cost of living in the country coupled with a weaker shilling. Prices of key food products such as bread, milk and eggs have increased in the past year as have the cost of fuel, transport and Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).
Speaking on International Happiness Day on March 20, The Apollo Group Chief Executive Officer Ashok Shah implored the government to ease the situation.
“The worsening cost of living situation in the country has been compounded by rising oil prices and weakening shilling. Kenyans are feeling the pinch, the government needs to lower the burden,” he stated.
“With our world facing unprecedented challenges, wellbeing matters more than ever. When we choose to take action to help others, they benefit, we benefit and we set an example of kindness that can ripple out into the world too,” Shah added.
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He addressed the inaugural ‘APA Happiness Walk’ that took place at Karura Forest.
“We have called it the APA Happiness Walk – not only to celebrate the tenth World Happiness Day – but our aim is to bond communities and bring people from all walks of life together, to improve health and happiness by encouraging all to have relevant health checks, eat healthier and get active,” Shah noted.
The International Day of Happiness is an annual celebration aimed at helping people around the world to realize the importance of happiness in their lives. It is a chance for everyone to take steps to make themselves and others happier, to reflect on what makes them happy, and explore new ways to be happy. It takes place every year on the 20th of March.
“We want to encourage healthy living by empowering participants to take control of their wellness and develop long-term, sustainable healthy habits – which are good for the individual, good for us as a leading health insurance company and good for society,” Shah concluded.