The value of using Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH) in a country (Tanzania)

James Mathew Mgaya – Art in Tanzania internship

To many Gross Domestic Happiness (GDH)/ Gross National Happiness (GNH) is new terminology but it bears most important value to the countries. Gross Happiness (GNH) is a measurement of the collective happiness in a nation.  The king of the Himalayan country of Bhutan introduced Gross National Happiness (GNH) in the 1970s as a measure of economic and moral progress as an alternative to Gross Domestic Product. The kingdom of Bhutan’s first legal code, written at the time of unification in 1729, stated that “if the government cannot create happiness for its people, there is no purpose for the government.”. GNH has nine domain pillars of measurement which currently work internationally. These pillars provide the foundation for the happiness, which is manifested into the nine domains of GNH: psychological well-being, standard of living, good governance, health, community vitality, cultural diversity, time use, and ecological resilience. In short, the country prefers people than self-governed interests by living with peace and harmony towards its citizens.

The value of GNH?

Encourage investment; a country with good Gross Domestic Happiness mean will attract more foreign direct investment (FDI) which will contribute to GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the certain country. More FDI means more foreign investors will start their business in Tanzania and increase our national revenue. In addition, it also encourages entrepreneurship and establishment of new companies and enterprises owned by local resident (Tanzanians).

Valuation of currency; increase of value of the currency like Tanzanian shillings depend on interest rate, exports and imports , the purchasing power of currency in internationally, and foreign exchange reserves (the amount of currency held by foreign governments). Simply, the value of currency increases according to its circulation money within international borders by good diplomatic relations via international trade/financing/business. GDH can give a good standard of living. This means there will more available markets, purchasing power of consumer, and good money circulation.

Good diplomatic relation internationally; GNH gives good governance and psychological well-being. This leads to governments that can have good relationships to neighbouring countries and international collaborations economically, politically, and socially. Psychological wellbeing means, through its resource’s government can ensure life satisfactory in some degree of its services, creating peace and harmony among the citizens. Mentally stable countries bring relief to nearby countries and allow friendship due to available labour forces, no political unrest which attracts more investments to multinational companies and international relationship.

Increase of production nationally; GDH gives the government opportunity to build into its public policy decisions like good governance and sustainable development This is when government focus is on public good, boosting their citizen economy and infrastructures like in Tanzania’s strategic cities projects which gives formal and informal employment to the citizens. Building transportations means for the citizen to increase production from the producers towards the consumers, availability of water and electricity to the rural areas stimulating production and leading to urbanisation of rural areas which increases the connectivity between factories and available raw material.

Increase of national income; for citizens to enjoy, their government the needs sustainable income. For example, in Tanzania they use strategic projects to build infrastructure of public goods like roads, railways, bridges, aviation, and marine transports. This is life satisfactory to the citizens by means of transportation, bringing good income good to government and individuals. It creates formal and informal employment to the citizens while simultaneously creating income through toll bridges,  like Kigamboni, Dar es Salaam. Air Tanzania can create national income, and marine transport in lake zones create employment and national income. If citizens are happy with their government, it means no political unrest and its national income will thrive.

The verdict

There so much to talk about the Gross Domestic Happiness and the things can offer if considered. It is an alternative to Gross Domestic Product, which rather focuses strictly on quantitative economic measures. Gross National Happiness considers an evolving mix of quality-of-life factors. The centre provides an overview of national performance across these pillars, providing the foundation for the happiness, which is shown in the nine domains of GNH: psychological well-being, standard of living, good governance, health, education, community vitality, cultural diversity, time use, and ecological resilience.

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