Looking at the highlights from the World Economic Forum’s Survey on the Global Agenda, I was interested to see that sub-Saharan Africa was identified as the region most optimistic about the ability of government, business, and media institutions to tackle global challenges. On the international level, these institutions haven’t exactly served Africans’ interests all that well in the past. This fits in with some other recent survey data showing that African countries are in a particularly optimistic mood at the moment.
A recent Gallup survey found that when asked to rate their future lives vs. their current lives, 14 of the 15 most optimistic countries were in Africa, despite—or perhaps because of—the fact that these same countries have some of the lowest rankings for current life satisfaction. (Seven of the 15 most pessimistic were in Europe.) Africans were also far more optimistic than Europeans or North Americans that their children would be better off than themselves in a recent Pew poll. (Pew put Northern and Sub-Saharan Africa together in one, so the region’s average numbers were brought down by bleakly pessimistic Egypt.)