Sitemap

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

 

Tuesday, 24 February 2015
Written by Richard Dowden
If you said the words “Africa” and “food” and asked most people in the western world what the connection was, I would bet my Sunday lunch that many people would say: “None. They don’t have any. They’re all starving.” So the news in The Lancet this week that Africans have the best diets in the world is wonderful and spectacularly ironic. According to the researchers, out of the top ten best national diets in the world only one is not African,... more
Monday, 9 February 2015
Written by Richard Dowden
In December 2011 Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint spoke at an RAS Africa Business Breakfast. I was chairing it and in the question and answer session I asked him about HSBC's role in corporate companies mis-invoicing and money laundering and the subsequent loss of revenue to African countries.  He denied that HSBC was involved in any such practices. After he left his successor Stuart Gulliver admitted that HSBC's anti-money laundering should have been stronger and more effective... more
Monday, 12 January 2015
Written by Richard Dowden
The great surge of marchers in Paris on Sunday was impressive and very moving but what was it for? We know what it was against: murdering cartoonists – or anyone else – is a bad thing and should not happen. But what was the message to the world? The politicians will welcome this response because they can use it to introduce lots of new security measures which no one will question. France’s security services will be given lots of money. I suspect we will soon see waves of... more
It is not often you hear a Vice President of the World Bank calling for revolution, but Oby Ezekweseli did just that at the Royal African Society’s Annual Lecture last week. There is an unwritten rule among politicians globally that they do not rubbish their rulers when they are abroad, but Oby – who would not describe herself as a politician – did not hold back. We should have guessed how fired up she was when the former minister in President Obasanjo’s... more
A few years ago I would have celebrated the end of US global hegemony but it is hard to be optimistic about the future of democratic values, human rights and a free market global economy – the formula which America proclaimed as the future when the Cold War ended in 1989. It seemed for a few years to be working as dictators were toppled and democracy proclaimed. But far from liberating nation states, the US and Britain’s attack on Afghanistan and second invasions of Iraq as well as... more

Pages