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

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Museveni-Besigye debate

Why the president must be happy with the current debate between him and his leading critic

I have been following with keen interest the debate in the press between President Yoweri Museveni and opposition leader and activist, Dr. Kizza Besigye. From the standpoint of a democratic society, their media interviews and articles are a sign of healthy debate. In many ways therefore, Ugandans should be proud that the President and the most potent symbol of opposition to his government are engaged in a debate.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

A good African story

Rugasira’s book shows the gulf between rhetoric about value addition and the outcomes of the actual policy process
All too often, most of the literature on doing business in Africa is by non Africans mainly from the Western world whose lenses are colored by their institutional and cultural prejudices and biases. Or it is by bureaucrats from international development organisations who have never done business and therefore give a lot of theory but little insight into practical experience. This makes it difficult to gain real understanding of how businesses on the continent actually work – both the opportunities that abound and the structural and organisational constraints they face.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Power without responsibility

An examination of the growing power and tyranny of international human rights organisations

International human rights groups largely founded and financed by the West have increasingly become powerful voices shaping politics in Africa. Their voice is respected by governments and mass media in the West. Given Africa’s dependence on Western aid, our leaders shape our politics around what these groups are saying. This undermines our sovereignty and nascent democratic institutions. It also reflects growing success by Western countries to shape post colonial Africa in their own image.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Need for alternative vision

Why the opposition needs to transcend their biases about Museveni if they are to ever have a chance to defeat him

In early 2010, my friend Prof. Jeremy Weinstein from Stanford University (then working at the White House) sent me results of an opinion poll on citizen attitudes to government he had commissioned in 126 constituencies in Uganda in 2009. I was intrigued to find that President Yoweri Museveni’s job approval rating was very high – 76 percent. Given my deeply held conviction that NRM’s performance especially in the delivery of public goods and services has been poor, my initial suspicion was that there was something wrong with the poll.