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, August 29, 2016

America’s harmful threats

Why U.S. resistance to the proposed ban on second hand clothes is a danger to our future prosperity

On August 17, Daily Monitor published an article titled “US envoy warns on ban of second hand clothes.”  The U.S. Ambassador to Uganda, Deborah Malac, made the warning during a “courtesy call” on our Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga. Malac warned that a ban on second hand clothes would jeopardise Uganda’s benefits from AGOA. Never mind that this decision was adopted by regional heads of state as part of the East African Industrialisation Policy.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Inside the war against Kayihura

How the opposition has been joined by elements inside government to fight the IGP and the risks it poses
Over the last few weeks, the police and its Inspector General Kale Kayihura have been in the eye of the storm. The opposition see Kayihura, and correctly so, as the biggest stumbling block in their pursuit of power. He has tenaciously blocked their rallies and riots. So they want him removed. They have successfully used social media to demonise him.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Weapons of the poor

How per capita revenues and per capita spending influence governance strategies of nations

How do you govern a country that has average public spending per capita of $450 annually in Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)? Is it possible to govern it using the same strategies as a country whose public spending is $22,000 per person annually? Yet all debate on governance today assumes exactly that. I have grown suspicious of this belief in large part because when one studies the governance strategies of today’s rich nations when they had the same per capita spending as today’s poor countries they look quite similar.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Uganda’s much-discussed bailout

How to help distressed companies without removing the risk from lenders and borrowers
On March 31 2016, the total value of all loans in Uganda’s commercial banking industry was Shs21.7 trillion of which Shs528 billion were non-performing loans (or “bad loans”) i.e. 2.64% of the total. Under the effective oversight of Bank of Uganda, especially its director for supervision; Justine Bagyenda (known in the industry as Uganda’s Iron Lady), non-performing loans have averaged 1.7% over the last 10 years. Although there was deterioration, it was a far cry from the 17% non-performing loans in 1996.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Inside Rwanda’s police state

Why Rwandans tell pollsters they are free while abstract standards of freedom say the country is repressive

The view that Rwanda is a police state is such an entrenched position among critics of President Paul Kagame that it has become gospel truth. Last week on my radio talk show on KFM, I showed panelists videos of police in Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya mercilessly beating up demonstrators. I told them I have never seen a Rwanda police officer beat a civilian thereby letting lose the dogs of intellectual and emotional war. If I had not been a dictatorial moderator, my views would have been drowned in the ensuing uproar. All the panelists said this is because Rwanda is a police state where people lack the freedom to challenge government.