About me.

Andrew M. Mwenda is the founding Managing Editor of The Independent, Uganda’s premier current affairs newsmagazine. One of Foreign Policy magazine 's top 100 Global Thinkers, TED Speaker and Foreign aid Critic



Monday, November 5, 2018

Chasing the wind

Why the belief that Ugandans are angry because youth lack jobs and other economic opportunities is mistaken

Last week, President Yoweri Museveni inaugurated a $600 million fertilizer and aluminum plant in Tororo. A few days before, he had opened a new $150 million bridge over the River Nile in Jinja. And a few days earlier he had been to Kapeka where he opened a Chinese ceramics factory that will produce 40,000 square meters of floor and wall tiles per day. Even a few days before that he visited the $2 billion Karuma hydro electricity project that will produce 600MW of electricity.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Museveni’s forgotten railway unit

Why 30 years later, we should not condemn but sympathise with the president’s fanciful and failed dreams
Last week someone sent me a video of President Yoweri Museveni speaking on December 22, 1988.
In it, the President who was just two years in power says: “We must have our own capacity to build houses, roads, dams, railways.”
Museveni boasted that he was “using the Kasese line as an opportunity to build a railways construction unit.”

Monday, October 22, 2018

The triumph of colonialism

How European claims to promote `civilisation’ in Africa remain the supreme aim of all our governments

One of the most successful ideological projects in contemporary history has been European colonialism, or what Marxists used to call imperialism. Vladimir Lenin called imperialism the highest stage of capitalism. The growth of capitalism imposed certain demands on the European bourgeoisie. They needed to find new sources of raw materials for their industries, areas to invest surplus capital, new markets for their manufactured products and cheap labour.

Friday, October 19, 2018

The fall of Jennifer Musisi


Finally Jennifer Musisi has resigned as executive director of KCCA. This was inevitable. However, her resignation points to a deeper malady that our nation faces: the gulf between our theoretical ambitions and the pettiness of our politics. Musisi has fallen because she aspired to do great things for a city the majority of whose residents are driven by petty politics.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Africa’s highway to a dead-end

Why our obsession with foreign direct investment as a driver of our transformation is misguided
It is the Italian thinker-philosopher, Antonio Gramsci, who coined the term hegemony. He used it to refer to the sum total of beliefs, values, explanations and perceptions that a dominant class develops and which subordinate classes accept as the norm i.e. as the normal way things are and should be. Hegemony is therefore the universally dominant ideology that justifies the existing social, political and economic status quo as natural, normal, inevitable and beneficial to everyone. Yet any such status quo is actually an artificial social construct developed by and for the benefit of the dominant social group.

Monday, October 8, 2018

Recasting debates on development

What a reading of Marx and Lenin teaches us about the effects of multinational capital on poor nations
Raymond Mujuni of NBS television tweeted that he has began his masters’ degree in development studies with a reading of Karl Marx. This column is a conversation with him on Marx’s insights on development. Marx was the first thinker to show the link between economic development and political action. Later thinkers within the Marxist tradition carried his ideas further. In this article I want to introduce Mujuni to the ideas of Marx and Vladmir Lenin.

Monday, October 1, 2018

The future we must fight for


Why our democracy will not be strengthened by a violent contest but dialogue and compromise
 

The current struggle between President Yoweri Museveni on the one hand and the two most popular opposition groups to wit Defiance led by Dr. Kizza Besigye, and People Power led by Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine on the other, is over power not democracy or policy.