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, July 22, 2013

Inside 'post-racial' America

A teenager is killed. The killer is acquitted. The country is USA. The teenager was black. Sounds familiar? Yes! Here is why.

Preamble from the Huffington Post: In March 2013, 16-year old unarmed Kimani Gray was shot seven times, including three times in his back by the New York City police as he left his friend’s birthday party. In March 2012 in Pasadena California, a 19-year college student Kendrec McDade was shot and killed by police.

Egypt’s twisted democratisation

Why the U.S. should reflect on its historical experience and let the secularists and Islamists forge their own path

Events in Egypt over the last week have been both disappointing and illuminating. Disappointing because a democratically elected government was overthrown by the military supported by a vast number of Egyptian citizens. Illuminating because it confirmed what we already knew i.e. that democratisation is a long and protracted process that goes through many twists and turns. 

In the best case scenario, Egypt is going through the birth pangs of democracy – this is only a passing cloud before the country stabilises. In the worst case scenario, this is the first step on a journey more perilous than the Sahara. Egypt could be on a highway to civil war.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

America’s slippery slope

How the US war on terror threatens to undermine the cause of individual liberty

In 1948, George Orwell published his novel, 1984, a classic statement of the danger to individual liberty paused by increasing technological sophistication, especially in the hands of the state. The novel is set in a country with an all-powerful state, Big Brother, characterised by a state-controlled economy with few monopolistic producers and controlled labor. Yet this is not what made Big Brother all-powerful. Two factors did.

Uganda’s incompetence paradox

How economic performance indexes contradict assumptions about the corruption and ineptness of our government

Sometime in 2001, former Costa Rican President Jose Maria Figueres visited Uganda. At that time he was Managing Director of the World Economic Forum. At a conference also attended by President Yoweri Museveni at the International Conference Center in Kampala, he said that Costa Rica had grown her export earnings from US$ 1.3 billion to $5 billion in ten years.