Museveni‘s Uganda: A template for presidents who don’t want to leave office

by Rashmee

Posted on January 12, 2021


Does any of this sound familiar? A president who refuses to leave office and will do just about anything to make it happen. Compliant legislators who coddle the man. A quarrel with big tech, which is trying to rein the administration in. That’s the situation in Uganda as it moves with some difficulty towards a … Continue reading “Museveni‘s Uganda: A template for presidents who don’t want to leave office”

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A president met his political rival to end post-election instability. Guess where

by Rashmee

Posted on November 12, 2020


Many days after a contentious presidential election, the incumbent leader of a big economy finally meets his main political rival, thereby ending a bitter stand-off that could fuel protracted instability. It happened. Not in America, folks. That was Ivory Coast. President Alassane Ouattara met Henri Konan Bedie, an 86-year-old former president, for talks on ending … Continue reading “A president met his political rival to end post-election instability. Guess where”

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There’s Senegal and then there’s Donald Trump’s America

by Rashmee

Posted on October 5, 2020


It is a stark , a startling and unsettling contrast. On the western edge of the mighty African continent, there is small Senegal, just under 200,000 sq km, with a GDP per capita of $2,700 and healthcare expenditure of less than 5 per cent of GDP. Oh, and nearly half its population of 14.7 million … Continue reading “There’s Senegal and then there’s Donald Trump’s America”

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We need to talk about empire: Britain is being forced to confront its ‘original sin’

by Rashmee

Posted on June 15, 2020 / The Focus


It all started with the death in Minneapolis on 25 May of an unarmed black man named George Floyd. Nearly three weeks later, with anti-racism protests spreading across the Atlantic, Britain is engaged in an animated, agonising and admittedly divisive discussion about racial justice, colonialism and national memory. It’s part of a tableau that’s playing … Continue reading “We need to talk about empire: Britain is being forced to confront its ‘original sin’”

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America is being ‘Africanised’, says Africa

by Rashmee

Posted on June 8, 2020 / The Focus


It was The Elephant, a four-year-old African website, that made the connection between George Floyd and Mohamed Bouazizi. “The Tunisian hawker who set himself on fire in an act of protest against police corruption and ill-treatment” ignited the 2010 Arab Spring, wrote Kenyan journalist Rasna Warah. Floyd’s death at the hands of a white police … Continue reading “America is being ‘Africanised’, says Africa”

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It’s too early for US museums to be recording the pandemic

by Rashmee

Posted on June 3, 2020 / The National


In late April, as the coronavirus outbreak continued its inexorable spread, a museum in Los Angeles put out a remarkable call. It asked communities in the western United States — the Great Plains, Rocky Mountains and the west coast — to help “identify and preserve items of historical and cultural significance during the Covid-19 pandemic”. The Autry Museum explained … Continue reading “It’s too early for US museums to be recording the pandemic”

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Lessons from the sub-Saharan past on how to deal with pandemics

by Rashmee

Posted on May 23, 2020


Ever wondered how humans in Africa hundreds of years ago protected themselves from pandemics? The BBC World Service’s ‘Science in Action’ programme offered an answer, in a fascinating conversation with Professor Shadreck Chirikure, Head of the Department of Archaeology at the University of Cape Town. Communities practised social distancing, the Professor said, by dispersing settlements, … Continue reading “Lessons from the sub-Saharan past on how to deal with pandemics”

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The great game…in Africa

by Rashmee

Posted on February 10, 2020


Europe is fighting hard to be relevant to Africa, its nearest continental neighbour. Today (Feb. 10) is the Africa Union (AU) summit in Addis Ababa, capital of Ethiopia and AU headquarters. And it’s drawn European Council president Charles Michel – he’s been in Addis since Sunday – for some two dozen bilateral meetings with African … Continue reading “The great game…in Africa”

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Two ‘I’s currently seem to define America

by Rashmee

Posted on February 6, 2020


Iowa and impeachment. In the first week of February, an impeached American president was acquitted by a partisan Senate and the first-in-the-nation US presidential election vote was beset by chaos. It would not be extreme to say that to many around the world, Iowa and impeachment currently define America. The two ‘I’s suggest impunity and … Continue reading “Two ‘I’s currently seem to define America”

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Leaders for life are as creative as novelists. They engage in world-building

by Rashmee

Posted on January 17, 2020


On Wednesday (Jan. 15) Russia’s president Vladimir Putin offered an apparently new tactic of democratic deconstruction or what scholars call constitutional regression. He raised the profile of a previously little-known body, the State Council, and suggested Russian presidents shouldn’t have as much authority as once they did. This raises the possibility that Mr Putin will … Continue reading “Leaders for life are as creative as novelists. They engage in world-building”

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Rashmee has lived and worked in several countries in the past decade, including Afghanistan, India, Haiti, Tunisia, the UAE, US and UK