Prizes for Presidents or Charity for Villagers?

Two interesting and contrasting approaches to development in Africa are making headlines at the moment. One starts at the top, tackling governance issues. The other takes a bottom-up approach, working at the village level. In the first, former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano has won the inaugural Mo Ibrahim prize awarded to a retiring head of state for … More Prizes for Presidents or Charity for Villagers?

Southern Walkout

NAIROBI: I quite simply don’t have the energy to post on the SPLM’s walkout and what it means. (I haven’t the foggiest idea, is the honest truth and I assume they’ll be back pretty sharpish anyway). But this is the best explanation I’ve seen – Samson Kwaje, minister of information of South Sudan, interviewed for … More Southern Walkout

I Give Up

NAIROBI: This post started as a piece on the sociology of science, the history of twin studies and the flawed research into the inheritance of IQ. It was going to be a response to comments by James Watson, who won a Nobel prize for his work identifying the structure of DNA, reported in today’s Independent, that … More I Give Up

A Convenient Excuse

NAIROBI: Al Gore has done a fine job alerting those who wouldn’t otherwise listen to the dangers of climate change. For that he thoroughly deserves his Nobel Prize. But something interesting is going on. His is the second peace prize awarded to an environmental campaigner following the precedent of Wangari Maathai three years ago. Increasingly … More A Convenient Excuse

A Dumb Pundit Writes

Nairobi: George Clooney has taken a pop at armchair experts who dismiss his brand of celebrity activism. The vocal campaigner for Darfur says in Time magazine… “…I welcome any of these dumb pundits who make celebrities out to be bad guys to a discussion about Darfur. Because I’ve been there and I’ve met all the players, and … More A Dumb Pundit Writes