Development: the World sees Money, Bhutan sees Happiness

Bhutan is a country located in Southern Asian. The country is well known for it unique lifestyle: which is, collective societal efforts to ensure that everyone is living a happy life.

In 1970, the World Bank listed Bhutan as a poor and under-developed country in the association’s global development index. In a response, King Jigme Singye Wangchuck (the ruler of Bhutan at the time) wrote to the World Bank and declared that “Gross National Happiness is more important than Gross Domestic Product.” The King pointed out that, he and his people have no interest in focusing on acquiring huge foreign reserves to raise high their GDP, rather, their focus is to guarantee the happiness of every member of the Kingdom.

The King demanded from the World Bank to either modify the indices of estimating the country’s development or have it excluded from the association’s rankings.

Until today, Bhutan has huge minerals deposit but the country does not allow any foreign investment into exploiting them. They have left them under the soil for future generations, to protect their environment, to minimise exploitation, and to protect the rich cultured of the country.

Since 1972, the global associations have accepted to measure Bhutan’s development not by how much dollar they are able to work for in each year, but rather, how happy the people are, hence the introduction of GNH Happiness Index. Interestingly, Bhutan is considered one of the most developed countries in the world, if not the most developed, when happiness is viewed.

The leadership of the country have largely been able to free the citizens from global capitalism exploitation, they have secured a safer future for next generations, and they have saved the country’s culture from going extinct.

We can all have something to learn from a small country called Bhutan.

Call me Kwadwo Agyei Yeboah and know that I love Africa.

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