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, April 30, 2018

Inside Uganda’s healthcare tears

Why trying to do everything for everyone, everywhere has ended up doing little for anyone, anywhere

The debate on health policy in Uganda is frustrating. Our health services are characterized by corruption, absenteeism, incompetence and apathy. Everyone is angry and frustrated including President Yoweri Museveni. This misery is self-inflicted because we refuse to acknowledge the limits on the state’s ability to do everything for everyone everywhere.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Thinking succession in Uganda

Why the failure of a third force has locked us in a choice between Museveni and Besigye

In debating whether President Yoweri Museveni should go or stay we are not indulging in an abstract theoretical exercise but a challenge of practical politics. We can say Museveni’s government is performing badly, we need to improve it from within; or that it is dysfunctional, we need to change it from without.

Monday, April 16, 2018

On Africa’s big dreams

Why our continent needs to rethink her overenthusiastic attitude towards foreign direct investment

Last month, Rwanda hosted the African Union’s summit on the Continent Free Trade Area (CFTA). The discussions were as inspiring as they were frustrating. Leaders from government and the private sector talked big about the benefits of integration. Some even suggested an African crypto-currency. There is a mistaken belief that the existence of a common interest is sufficient to promote a collective effort to achieve it. This is rarely true.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Uganda’s new villain

Why the country and its president are fighting the wrong enemy on electricity tariffs

A large cross section of Ugandan elites is angry, very angry. It thinks the price (tariff) it buys electricity at is too high. So it has been looking for a villain to blame and has identified Umeme, the private utility licensed to distribute electricity. President Yoweri Museveni, who many Ugandans accuse of owning the company, has also joined the anti-Umeme coalition. Last year his villain was Bujagali Electricity Limited (BEL), the largest hydro electricity generator in Jinja. So the villain is a moving target and this explains why the debate on causes of high electricity tariffs is a toxic combination of high emotion and little knowledge.

Monday, April 2, 2018

On Museveni’s Umeme missive

UMEME: Why the president is misinformed about electricity distribution market and tariffs

President Yoweri Museveni’s letter to the minister of Energy has provided considerable grist to the anti-Umeme mill. There is no company providing a public service in Uganda that has been as successful in business and as equally hated by many as Umeme. This is because Umeme made a fundamental error: it invested in business success but ignored both customer relations and stakeholder engagement.