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 31, 2017

Hubris of The Economist

How this British newspaper ignores Rwanda’s context in its neocolonial desire to define that country

According to cc, a United Kingdom-based highly opinionated newsmagazine, President Paul runs a tight autocratic political system in Rwanda. The economist arrives at this conclusion entirely based on its reporter’s personal feelings spiced by anecdotal stories told him/her by some fringe of that country’s citizenry. It is always good to be rich and powerful because then you can comment on other people’s lives with the confidence of a priest.

Monday, July 24, 2017

BOU’s war with Sudhir

How the central bank’s handling of the problems of Crane Bank showed lack of imagination and strategy
I have always had high respect for Bank of Uganda (BOU) because of its management competences. Since the collapse of Uganda Commercial Bank in 1999, BOU has kept our banking industry stable hence its impressive and sustained growth. For instance, nonperforming loans as a percentage of total loans fell from 40% in 1995 to 5% in 2015. Since 1995, commercial bank assets have grown from Shs700 billion (Shs4 trillion in 2016 prices) to Shs24 trillion; deposits from Shs383 billion (Shs2.2 trillion in 2016 prices) to Shs16 trillion. All other indicators – profits, wages, branches, accounts, have grown exponentially over the same period.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Too much ado over nothing

Why Museveni is most likely going to succeed in amending the constitution to remove the age limit
Uganda is entering a major political battle that will show us the balance of political forces between President Yoweri Museveni and his opponents. A section of the ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) will push for the amendment of the constitution to remove the presidential age limit so that Museveni can run in 2021. Most of the leadership of the NRM are hostile to this proposed amendment but will acquiesce to it because the party has evolved in such a way that only those who do so survive politically.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Rethinking healthcare in Africa

Why attempts to provide too much too fast are the cause of corruption and institutionalised incompetence
Last week I moderated a World Health Organisation panel on providing universal healthcare in Africa. These ambitions assume that poor countries have the ability to deliver the set goals and what is missing is honest government and political will. The debate took place in Rwanda where a poor country has achieved universal medical insurance. I have come to believe that using Rwanda as a reference point is misleading because the conditions that have made it successful are rare to find and difficult to recreate. This article’s central message is that we need to unlearn assumptions that inform our policy prescriptions for poor countries.

Monday, July 3, 2017

The incongruence of the incongruence

A summary of the 2017-18 budget                                  
How Ugandans get angrier as government does the right thing when it comes to spending money
Two contradictory things are happening in Uganda. First, large sections of the public, especially the elite public, are angry, very angry with government. They accuse it of ruling without leading and stealing without serving.