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Published 9th July 2010

Vol 51 No 14


Uganda

The Museveni machine grinds into gear

Image courtesy of Panos Pictures
Image courtesy of Panos Pictures

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The opposition unites, but not entirely – the president and his party will be hard to beat at next year’s elections

Dissent is growing against a leader and party that have dominated the country for 24 years. On 23 August, Uganda’s diverse opposition parties aim to announce their joint candidate for the presidential election next February. The two-year-old Inter-Party Cooperation (IPC) agreement is holding firm as the campaign gets under way. It links the Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), Uganda Peoples Congress (UPC), Justice Forum (JEEMA) and the Conservative Party; few doubt that the FDC leader, Kizza Besigye, a former ruling party stalwart and colonel, will be its standardbearer. The ‘spirit of cooperation’ requires a delegates’ conference to choose him by consensus rather than coronation, after four wise elders from each party have agreed on the man most likely to defeat President Yoweri Museveni.


The assassin’s hand

Violence and intrigue – at home and abroad – overshadow the impending elections

Someone is trying to kill the opponents of General Paul Kagame ahead of the presidential election on 9 August. A group of armed men bungled an attack against an exiled Rwandan diss...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

Can there be too much good news about Africa? Surely not. After a decades-long diet of war and famine coverage, Africa is now feted as the next big economic thing. From McKinsey and Boston Consulting come thorough reports projecting African GDP of US$2.6trn within ten years as investment quickens. McKinsey points out that from 2000 to 2008, inward investment jumped from $9bn to $62bn a year, a rate mirroring that achieved by China. Last week at a business summit in São Paulo, Brazil, Reuters ...
Can there be too much good news about Africa? Surely not. After a decades-long diet of war and famine coverage, Africa is now feted as the next big economic thing. From McKinsey and Boston Consulting come thorough reports projecting African GDP of US$2.6trn within ten years as investment quickens. McKinsey points out that from 2000 to 2008, inward investment jumped from $9bn to $62bn a year, a rate mirroring that achieved by China. Last week at a business summit in São Paulo, Brazil, Reuters journalists heard predictions that there will appear some 100 specialised funds investing over $20bn in Africa within four years. More than half the world’s fastestgrowing economies next year will be African. But notes of caution must sound when African finance ministers and central bankers try to absorb unprecedented flows with often weak bureaucracies and shallow capital markets. The problem is less with the technocrats and the civil servants and more with politicians who see in the encouraging news an opportunity to consolidate power rather than delivering a development boom. There may indeed be too much good news, if joy at the economic upturn derails efforts to hold politicians to account. Private equity companies enthuse about the telecoms and agricultural markets, but few heed the political downturn, especially those authoritarian regimes that have strengthened their grip in this year’s crop of elections.
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