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 25, 2016

URA’s poor tax administration

How corruption has disabled mechanisms through which the business community can fight for better tax laws

Uganda’s ratio of taxes to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has remained almost stagnant for 19 years. In 1997, it was 11%. Since then it has risen to 13.7% only to fall back to 12%. This is in spite of the fact that over this period, monetary GDP has increased from 76% to 94% and taxable GPD from 52% to 81% today. Last financial year, the Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) collected Shs 11.3 trillion in taxes against a GDP of Shs 86 trillion as per June 30th. This means that the tax to GDP ratio is now 12%.

Monday, July 18, 2016

America’s war on its black citizens

Slavery in America may have ended but the US state has reproduced it through mass incarceration of blacks and police violence in poor black communities due to its hidden economic gains

Recent events in the United States; where police shot and killed two black men in cold blood may have dominated the news but they are actually normal and regular. What was unusual was a lone black man who decided to take matters into his hands and strike back at America’s institutionalised system of racial subjugation and violence, killing five police officers and injuring seven more. Since then, there has been more outpouring of sympathy for the police, including from President Barack Obama, than to the daily victims of police terror.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Uganda’s economic growth dilemma

Why our country remains poor with high unemployment in spite of 28 years of huge expansion in GDP

Last week, I spent an entire day at Uganda Bureau of Statistics crunching numbers with the staff on our GPD growth between 1986 and 2014. There is only one route for nations to grow rich: sustained economic growth over a very long period of time. Economics and statisticians use “The Rule of 72”. It states that if an economy (or anything under measurement for that matter) grew at 1% per year, it would double every 72 years. However, if anything grew at 7% per year, it would double every ten years.

Monday, July 4, 2016

A tale of two roundabouts

Why the story of Rwanda’s economic success keeps being juxtaposed with human rights abuses

Last week I was in Kigali, Rwanda, after only two weeks of absence. Driving from the airport to the city, I found two new roundabouts near the new Convention Center complex. On my right was a 400 meters long boulevard leading to presidents’ office. My Rwandan friends told me that they too woke up one Saturday morning only to find this infrastructure in place – built over one night. It is an incredible feat these Rwandans have pulled off in their preparations to host the African Union Heads of State summit this July. Kampala Capital City Authority has spent the last six months trying to fix the roundabout at Fairway Hotel.