Chris Blattman

Africa blog to watch

Ken Opalo agrees with my South Sudan post today, but with a caveat:

the security hawks should be watched. They tend to overstay their welcome. Rwanda, Uganda and Ethiopia needed security more than a decade ago. Now their saviors, Kagame, Museveni and Zenawi, respectively, are quickly turning into latter day Bokassas.

He has a excellent blog on African political economy. I had not seen it before but enjoyed the posts. Highly recommended. See it here.

2 Responses

  1. One of the historical reasons that the U.S. didn’t wind up as a despotism is that George Washington (who served in one capacity or another as a senior leader of the new republic for almost two decades, with his eight years as President being only the tail end of his service) didn’t have any solid family successors to establish a new monarchy.

    South Sudan might be well advised to put infertility and advanced age (so a lifetime of service isn’t too long) right up near the top of the list with miltary and leadership competence as a criteria considered for senior military officers. Once the precedent of orderly succession is established once or twice, the risk of military insubordination or illegal succession to top political offices with bad intent is much diminished.

    Something else (anything else) besides positions of political power to occupy national saviors with amibious children (and this is not entirely in jest) would be a great national service. Send them to the U.N. Get them senior jobs at big oil companies. Buy them a pleasure island to distract themselves. Hire them to be movie actors or national poets. Find them gardens to tend and let new blood take the reins.

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