A while ago I watched a TedTalk given by a man named Simon Anholt called “Which country does the most good?”. I won’t go into too much detail about what he talked about but if you haven’t already seen it and you have precisely 17 minutes and 54 seconds to spare I recommend you give it a watch, and to spare you the extra 15 seconds of searching it up on youtube, here’s the link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1X7fZoDs9KU.

All you need to know is Simon Anholt is a political advisor and he compiled a document called the Good Country index, check it out – https://goodcountry.org/index/overall -rankings. In this index, he lists –in order- the countries that do the most good in terms of their contribution to the world.

What was of notable achievement at the time the video was released back in 2014 was the ranking of some African countries such as; Kenya (28th), Mauritius (36th), and Ghana (38th) that came in the top 40 countries. What’s more interesting is the correlation between the countries that are doing good and have the strongest economic standing on the African continent. As Anholt points out in his talk, it is disappointing to see that this evidence may suggest that in order to do more good you must be wealthy. If you consider, however, the economies of these countries in comparison to countries like Ireland, Finland, and Switzerland – ranked 1st, 2nd, and 3rd respectively – the evidence paints a slightly different picture. It wouldn’t be unreasonable to conclude that actually these countries have thrived more and benefited from economic growth in recent history as a result of their attitudes towards goodness.

2016 rankings for African countries are slightly less impressive with Mauritius as the top ranked African country in at 33rd, and Kenya – previously the highest – down to 92nd. , but still an impressive feat.

What’s clear is that African nations as a whole have a lot to consider when it comes to development and the most effective ways of achieving it, but also that it is as much the responsibility of individuals – locally and globally- as it is the responsibility of any government to take ownership of making our world a better place. So consider, who you vote for, who you support, and your contributions to the society you live in.


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