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

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Col. Bantariza: A lion retires

THE LAST WORD | Andrew M. Mwenda | I woke up yesterday morning only to hear that the deputy head of the Uganda Media Centre Col. Shaban Bantariza is dead. The news struck me like a thunderbolt partly part because I least expected it but largely because Bantariza was not just a friend but also someone I greatly admired. He embodied that great and enduring liberal spirit of the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF).

Monday, October 26, 2020

Lessons on poverty from COVID

 Why measuring poverty using income is misleading and why we need to switch to using wealth

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | It is seven months since Uganda locked down due to COVID. The lesson I have learnt from the lockdown is not related to health but economics. It concerns the method we use to measure poverty (indirectly, wellbeing). Currently, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), like nearly all measurements of poverty elsewhere in the world, relies on income. COVID has taught us that income can sometimes be a misleading indicator of wellbeing.

Monday, October 19, 2020

Uganda’s addiction to borrowing

 Why our country continues to take more and more loans and what this means for the economy

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Uganda is at a crossroads. Early this year, government passed a budget of Shs32 trillion for the 2020/2021 Financial Year. It also projected to collect Shs21.8 trillion in taxes and then would raise the rest from international loans and grants, non-tax revenues and domestic borrowing. Then COVID struck.

Monday, October 12, 2020

The book you must read this year

A peep into a powerful treatise that people in the free market movement need to ponder over

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Few books have gripped me as did Thomas Piketty’s economics blockbuster, Capital in the Twenty First Century. Published in 2015, I took long to read it in large part because everyone was praising it; and I am always suspicious of popular things. But also the first time I opened it, its pages were littered with many equations that turned me off, mistaking the book to be filled with econometric abstractions that mean little in reality. But finally, the devil got into my head and I sat to reading it last year and been re-reading it (actually studying it) these last few weeks.

Monday, October 5, 2020

Lessons from UPDF’s 50 years

 Why it’s important for the army or the government to tell the story of its transformation

THE LAST WORD | ANDREW M. MWENDA | Next year, the Uganda Peoples’ Defense Forces (UPDF) will mark three major milestone dates. It will be exactly 50 years (Golden Jubilee) since its formation under its precursor name, the Front for National Salvation (FRONASA) in 1971. It will also be 40 years since the launch of its second major phase of the struggle, the attack on Kabamba on February 6th 1981. Finally it will be 25 years (silver Jubilee) since it acquired its current name, UPDF, in October 1995 when this constitution came into force.