Yours truly has a piece in Uganda’s Independent newspaper (as usual, the piece had edits because newspaper people know their audience better…). Here’s a quote:
As a young East African in the United States, I am constantly confronted with the uncomfortable question of; why Africa? The question becomes particularly touchy if raised in the presence of my East and South Asian friends who take pride in their respective nations’ gargantuan achievements on the economic front. Instead of discussing high speed rails, turbo-charged economic growth rates and potential for massive reverse brain-drain, the discourse on my home continent is often clouded by stories of famine, illiteracy, economic stagnation, disease, and misrule etc. My attempts to answer the “why Africa?” question have generated a number of case-contingent answers, but the one answer that invariably comes up in all the cases is bad leadership.
Throughout the region, from Senegal, Somalia, Sudan to South Africa, socio-economic stagnation and misrule predominate. The only success story is Botswana, a middle-income country of less than 2 million people. But even life expectancy in Botswana is 55 years and over a quarter of its adult population has HIV. That is Africa’s success story