Richard Dowden

Dowden on Africa

A regular blog from  Richard Dowden, RAS Director and author of Africa: Altered States, Ordinary Miracles

Richard writes on African news, politics, business and the word on the street from his unique perspective as a journalist with 30 years' experience of covering Africa for various publications including The Independent, The Times and The Economist.

Richard writes regularly for publications including The Guardian, Foreign Policy, and The Times, a selection of his recent writing published else can be read here

 

Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Leave blank for all. Otherwise, the first selected term will be the default instead of "Any".
Tuesday, 3 May 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
When Prime Minister David Cameron called a conference on global corruption earlier this year my first reaction was: you must be joking. From Pergau dam in the 1990s where Britain’s development agency built a useless dam in Malaysia as a sweetener for a massive arms deal, to selling Tanzania an unnecessary air-traffic control system in 2010, the UK government has used its weight to secure dodgy deals for British companies. Have these practices come to an end? Most corruption in the world... more
Wednesday, 6 April 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
When my email was hacked recently I shocked myself dreaming up the most horrific forms of torture I would personally inflict on the perpetrators. But when Mossack Fonseca was hacked last Monday – in an organised attack by journalists – I cheered the hackers.   We at RAS have been talking about the effect of tax evasion on Africa for over a decade. We wrote about it when Prime Minister Tony Blair was trying to launder his reputation post Iraq in 2005 by escaping to Africa. His... more
If Shakespeare were alive today, he would probably be writing plays about African presidents rather than medieval kings. Nowhere else in the world has such dramatic and personal politics. Uganda is a case in point. In this East African nation, the re-election of President Yoweri Museveni on 18 February has always been a foregone conclusion. Having ruled for 30 years now, he will almost certainly extend his rule after the election tomorrow and probably keep extending it until he dies in office... more
Monday, 4 January 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
Africa is no longer a continent of palaces and peasants. There is now a solid middle class, which is one of the chief factors that drove Africa’s economic growth from around 2000. This coincided with more aid for development, an end to many of the wars that had dogged the continent in the 1990s, Chinese demand for commodities, and internet connectivity with the rest of the planet. These range of factors drove growth in the new century at more than 5%. In the 1970s, Africa grew at 4.2%,... more
Friday, 6 November 2015
Written by Richard Dowden
Forty years ago today (6 November), Morocco invaded Western Sahara, a former Spanish colonial possession – mostly made up of desert – in West Africa. As Spain walked away, Morocco claimed the territory as part of its ancient empire. The UN had declared that it was up to the people of the territory to decide their own future, but before they could do so, King Hassan II of Morocco organised the “Green March” in which hundreds of Moroccans were bussed to the border... more

Pages