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

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reality behind `greed’ of MPs

Why criticising MPs for demanding more benefits is misguided and what can be done about it
Our MPs want Shs200 million each to buy cars. They want their wages and allowances increased. They also want Shs68 million spent on their funeral when they die. The public is angry. What more evidence does one need to confirm that our MPs are indeed greedy?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Rethinking infrastructure contracts

Why East African governments need to involve local firms in big infrastructure projects
The East African nations of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda are involved in massive investments in infrastructure. They are contracting companies to build roads, railways, bridges, airports, seaports, dams, electricity lines, oil pipelines, refineries, water systems, etc. Between 2010 and 2020, the value of these contracts exceeds $100 billion in nominal dollars. Our nations have never seen anything like this before. Given that the combined nominal GDP of these countries is $145 billion, this is big business.

Monday, September 12, 2016

The dilemma Africa faces

The postcolonial state needs to transform not replicate existing social arrangements

Lately, I have been thinking about the postcolonial state inAfrica, and this column reflects these growing thoughts. Why do our states and their political leaders fail to do the things we expect of them? We need to stop regurgitating wornout statements that the state inAfrica is dysfunctional and its leaders are greedy and selfish. Africa has witnessed 278 changes of governments and their leaders over the last 50 years without any fundamental change in the governance strategies by successor governments and leaders – perhaps with the sole exception of post-genocide Rwanda. It would be more profitable to examine the structural circumstances that make these governance strategies obdurate.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Crisis of Africa’s postcolonial state

Danger of expecting leaders of poor African countries to govern like the rich

Imagine a romantic relationship between a poor young guy and a demanding girlfriend. They live in a community with former school and classmates all of whom are rich kids living in posh neighborhoods, driving fancy cars, wearing designer clothes, taking holidays in the Bahamas, dining at exclusive restaurants and buying expensive gifts for their girlfriends. The poor guy finds himself under peer pressure to live like the rich colleagues; and his girlfriend desires and demands that they keep up to the standards.