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".
Thursday, 28 July 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
The remarkable John Drysdale was almost completely unknown in Britain but a national hero in Somalia, where he was known as Abbas Idriss. A short man with pebble glasses, he looked more like an old professor than a soldier-turned-activist. Last month he was given a state funeral in Hargeisa attended by the great and good of Somaliland where he spent the last years of his life (see photo above). He first went to the Somalia during the Second World War in 1943 as a British army officer with the... more
Friday, 24 June 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
Sometimes turkeys do vote for Christmas. Just over half British voters have just done so. Brexit is national suicide. The tribes of Britain will now be at war with each other. The Scots will demand another referendum and will vote to leave. Northern Ireland will be vulnerable to civil war again. Are they really going to build a fence along the border? Sinn Fein will go back to war if they do. And the Welsh will not be slow to realise they do not want to be tied to an impoverished England.... more
Tuesday, 24 May 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
Twenty five years ago Somaliland declared its independence from the wrecked country called Somalia. The ceremony of raising the flag was held on May 18th in Burao, a small town down on the plain. It still had some buildings standing. The capital Hargeisa had been utterly destroyed. I arrived with an ITN film crew a day later. After consultation the new government agreed to perform the independence ceremony again for the single TV camera. So any commercial footage you see of Somaliland’s... more
Thursday, 12 May 2016
Written by Richard Dowden
  The Corruption Summit just concluded in London seems to have produced a strong and very clear statement on the effect of corruption and taken tough measures to ensure it is curbed. Prime Minister David Cameron has taken a lead in stopping the practices that impoverishes millions and sucks more money out of poor countries than the aid that is sent to help their economies grow. Africa has suffered enormous losses through these corrupt or legal but grossly unfair practices. Jophn... more
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

Pages