Monday, January 29, 2018
Reconsidering governance in Africa: Why our obsession with copying and pasting western institutions causes more harm than good
If you follow debate on Africa anywhere in the world, everyone will tell you that the main problem with our countries is governance. Yet this claim is new, picked from the World Bank’s World Development Report of 1989. Now it has entered the lexicon of politics as a religion; the very reason we need to focus on it. In the 1960s and 70s, the main issue was that African countries are poor because of their integration into the world economy as producers of unprocessed raw materials.
Monday, January 22, 2018
How Trump and his African admirers judge the quality of something based entirely on money
Just before the outbreak of the Nama-Herero rebellion in modern day Namibia in April 1904, Chief Hendrick Witboi of the Nama tribe penned a letter to the then German military governor of that colony. “He (the colonialist)… introduces laws which are entirely impossible, untenable, unbelievable, unbearable, unmerciful and unfeeling,” he wrote, “He punishes our people… and he has already beaten people to death for debt. He thinks we are stupid and unintelligent people but we have never punished people in the cruel and improper way he does.”
Monday, January 15, 2018
Why the tendency of African intellectuals to blame leaders for the failures of our nations is escapism
I recently had a Twitter debate with Prof. George Ayittey; the Ghanaian author of `Africa Unchained: the blueprint for development’ (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2004) and scholar at the American University in Washington DC.
Monday, January 8, 2018
Uganda’s (Africa’s) paradox: Why youth unemployment and urban poverty is a sign of progress
Uganda, like all African countries, has a big problem of youth unemployment. Some figures put it at 83%. Unemployed and underemployed youths are relegated to slums in towns where they live a life of poverty, misery, and marginalisation. This assessment makes a lot of moral sense and emotional appeal. It is also politically attractive. But it is actually filled with a lot of nonsense.