I'm speechless with admiration:
Yet a recent survey by Gallup International Association of 50,000 people across the world found that Africans are the most optimistic people. Asked whether 2006 would be better than 2005, 57 percent said yes. Asked if they would be more prosperous this year than last, 55 percent said yes.
These data bear out what I see all the time as I travel across sub-Saharan Africa as a correspondent: that every single day lived here, each birth, wedding, graduation, sunrise and sunset is, in ways large and small, a daily triumph of hope over experience.
Hope, it seems, is Africa's most abundant harvest. * * *
... Religion doubtless plays a role. Other Gallup International surveys have found that Africa is the most religious continent. The only region that rivals it on that score is the United States, which is also a very optimistic place.
"We have our faith, if nothing else," said the Rev. Joseph Ezeugo, pastor of Immaculate Heart Parish in Onitsha, Nigeria. Not far from the church where he spoke were dozens of charred bodies, the victims of sectarian violence. "We can find hope in faith," he said, "even if there is darkness all around us."
From Misery Loves Optimism in Africa, by Lydia Polgreen, NY Times, March 5, 2006.