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Editor's Note: A Special Edition on Development in Africa

Nov
23
The Editor

Ethiopian-TPLF AgreementIn the last two years, COVID-19 pandemic, left the world in utter misery. However, not all was lost because there were some bright spots. For example, Kenya conducted its election peacefully and had a smooth transition of power, a rare feat in Africa. Brazil’s by-elections, won by ex-President Lula, occurred without the anticipated violence by former President Bolsonaro’s supporters. Similarly, the USA has just concluded its mid-term election without the anticipated overwhelming victory or violence by ex-President Trump’s far-right election denialists. 

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Chinese Funded Rail Track Plunges Kenya into Debt

Nov
23
By Suchet Vir Singh with John Otim  

Chinese Funded Kenyan Railway

Kenyan government has published partial accounts of a controversial railway contract signed with China in 2014. A contract whose high rates has engulfed Kenya in huge debts.

Built at the huge cost of $4.7 billion the railway line (known as the Standard Gauge Railway) is marred by corruption scandals and alleged criminality.

 

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Can a Massive Foreign Aid Be the Solution to Africa’s Problems, Part 3

Nov
23
By Dr. Aklog Birara, former Senior Advisor at the World Bank

The Far Reach of Neo-colonialismThe invisible new “Cold War” is imbedded in development policies, plans and implementation. African scholars and opinion makers spend a great deal of time and energy debating, comparing, contrasting, and critiquing the Asia and Pacific development model led by China and the Western model led by the USA. The debate is healthy. But what ultimately matters are the value-added policies, programs, investment portfolios and infrastructure. A disconnected Africa cannot develop fast.

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Can a Massive Foreign Aid Be the Solution to Africa’s Problems, Part 2

Nov
23
Dr. Aklog Birara, former senior adviser to the World Bank

A Colonialist being carried by the colonizedColonialism by a different name is still the same. Having been forced to cede their colonial territories, colonialists and emerging imperialists designed new, sophisticated, and seemingly pro-African development, pro-free market, pro-human rights protocols, and pro-modernization instruments that bolstered the continued extraction and rent-seeking of financial and natural resources from Africa.

France and the national elites which it encouraged and created, still dominate Francophone Africa. Anglophone Africa is dominated by the United Kingdom and the domestic elites it trained, educated, and deployed. 

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Can a Massive Foreign Aid Be the Solution to Africa's Problems, Part 1

Nov
22
Dr. Aklog Barara, former senior advisor to the World Bank

Dr. Aklog BiraraI commend the provocative proposal by Jonathan Powers and others for that a massive aid will be the solution to Africa’s problems. However, I am afraid to dispute that idea that a massive Western aid program will transform structural and institutional poverty and technological backwardness in this otherwise promising continent populated by the youngest population on the planet.

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A Need for a Massive Aid Program for Africa

Nov
22
By Jonathan Power

Foreign Aid in AfricaSurely, wouldn’t a massive infusion of aid into Africa be pouring money down a rat hole? Isn't this the mistake that was made in the past–enormous generosity by the rich countries only to see it wasted on misconceived projects, bad economic management, or siphoned away into war and corruption, as is evident in Zimbabwe, Congo, and Somalia right now?

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EDITOR’S NOTE

Oct
21
By The Editor

The FlyoverThat every country has the right to celebrate its independent day is incontestable. But what is contestable is what the government does during the celebration relative to its responsibilities for serving all citizens equitably. On October 9th, this year, Uganda celebrated its  60th year of independence with pomp and circumstance. One thing struck me among all that happened at the Kololo Hill celebration in Kampala. It was the national Air Force flyover.

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THE PEARL OF AFRICA 114 YEARS LATER

Oct
21
By Okot Nyormoi

A Ugandan DancerYears ago, if you wanted to put a smile on a Ugandan’s face, mention the Pearl of Africa. That was because in 1908, Winston Churchill published a book titled, “My African Journey” in which he called Uganda the Pearl of Africa based on his tour of the country in 1907. Though Churchill was looking at the country through the eyes of a colonialist and a wildlife tourist, Ugandans were happy and proud of the description. They embraced the name knowing that pearls are beautiful and assumed that the description applied to all aspects of life in Uganda. If so, is Uganda still the Pearl of Africa as Churchill called it 114 years ago?

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UGANDA’S OWEN FALLS DAM: A COLONIAL LEGACY THAT STILL STINGS, 67 YEARS LATER

Oct
21
By Professor John Mukum Mbaku, Weber State University

Professor John MbakuUganda’s Owen Falls hydropower plant has a rich history that predates the country’s independence in 1962. The plant is located across the White Nile and sits between the towns of Jinja and Njeru on the shores of Lake Victoria. It is about 85 kilometers east of Kampala.

Uganda was a protectorate of the British empire from 1894 to 1962. In 1947, English engineer Charles Redvers Westlake recommended the construction of a hydroelectric dam at Owen Falls that was supposed to be East Africa’s largest power project.

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PEACEFUL NEGOTIATION IS THE WAY OUT OF ETHIOPIAN WAR QUAGMIRE

Oct
20
By Dr. Aklog Birara

War Wary FacesEthiopians are eager and hopeful that the New Year will usher in durable peace for all. I too am eager to see this happen. Ethiopia’ s young people, Fano, Afar and Amhara Special Forces, Ethiopia’s National Defense Forces are shedding their blood in defense of their country. Girls and women are mobilized in support of their gallant heroes. Their resolve and determination to root out the cancerous Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is admirable. It is only when they succeed that Ethiopia will enjoy a semblance of human security and peace.

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