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

 

Thursday, 26 March 2015
Written by Richard Dowden
Last week President Salva Kiir of South Sudan rejected all the main proposals put forward by the African Union to bring peace to Africa’s newest state. Standing on the temporary podium erected for Independence Day just over three and a half years ago, he refused all attempts at compromise with Riek Machar, the former Vice President. Standing in a black suit and cowboy hat, surrounded by praise singers, ministers, religious leaders, foreign ambassadors and school children, he read... more
Friday, 6 March 2015
Written by Richard Dowden
I may have been wrong about the end of President Robert Mugabe. I assumed that nothing in Zimbabwe would change until he was carried feet first out of office. In one way that is correct. He will not retire. He will try to retain the title of President of Zimbabwe until he dies. He told a recent visitor that work keeps him young and went on to say what a wonderful woman Mrs Thatcher was. Sadly, he said, she died young because she gave up office and stopped work. He really did try to befriend... more
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

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