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, October 28, 2013

Do suffering Africans a favour, don’t help them

People who are not willing to fight for their freedom and pay the highest price for it do not deserve to be free

The idea that only the international community (read the West) can save Africa has gained hegemonic status. This is expressed in many ways: in efforts to end poverty, in human rights advocacy, economic reforms, feeding the hungry, treating the sick, keeping the peace, “ending impunity,” providing shelter, paying for education; in almost everything under the sun, we are being conditioned to believe that our salvation cannot come from our initiatives but from external benefactors. Across Africa, many elites are convinced that someone good out there should do the job for us.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Africa and the curse of the ICC

How the International Criminal Court is seeking to usurp our sovereignty and why progressive Africa should reject it
Last week, the African Union summit in Addis Ababa resolved to ask the UN Security Council to defer the case against President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya at the ICC. It is unprecedented to put a serving president of a sovereign nation on trial. If Uhuru and his deputy William Ruto are convicted, ICC will have overturned the freely expressed will of the Kenyan people.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Inside Africa’s politics of patronage

How Rwanda is defying the established mechanisms of organizing politics in Africa and why it is succeeding
Last week, we were at the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) for a two-day conference on Rwanda. It always amazes me how this small (geographically), poor (economically) and geo-strategically unimportant country attracts attention far out of proportion to its position.

Critics and fans of President Paul Kagame battled each other over his legacy. Both sides agreed that the country has registered rapid state reconfiguration and economic reconstruction. For critics, however, the reasons that have made this possible were incidentally the reasons for their attacks. This article seeks to demonstrate this.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

A president’s betrayal and Africa’s sin

Another look at Africa’s patron-client relations and the peasant moral universe

Sometime in 2003, I visited the late former Zambian president Fredrick Chiluba at his palatial home in Lusaka’s rich suburb of Kablong and we sat down over a meal of rice, chapatti and wild game. He was under attack from his protégé and successor, Levy Mwanawasa on allegations of corruption.

Chiluba felt deeply betrayed when Mwanawasa went to parliament and asked it to lift his immunity as a former president so that he could be criminally prosecuted.