Mukoma Wa Ngugi


Helping Africa has become a self-perpetuating for profit non-profit business. It has become what Teju Cole calls the white savior industrial complex. This does raise the questions, are there ways in which help can actually be useful? Where help can actually do more good than harm and offer more than miracle water?

Offering a counterweight to negative images of an aid- and handout-addicted Africa, Mukoma Wa Ngugi discusses and commends the work of the local organisations around the continent. Often operating with minimal funding or media support, these organisations deserve to be the focal point in new approaches of genuinely helping those who help themselves, writes Wa Ngugi.

cc. Mukoma Wa Ngugi reflects on the absence of action by African governments against the Israeli invasion of Gaza and lambasts the divide between African Muslim and non-Muslim populations, calling for a solidarity of action.

Every now and then we put together an issue and the whole editorial team says, “Ah, now this is one satisfying issue” – a short hand way of saying that the essays are deep, urgent, far reaching and also, a sheer pleasure to read. This is one such issue.

The essays are much longer than our usual ones – but we promise they will be worth every minute you spend on them.

At the top of the list is Mahmood Mamdani's incisive analysis of the struggle for land reform in Zimbabwe. more

With the US presidential election fast approaching, Mukoma Wa Ngugi offers his reflections on Barack Obama’s candidacy, George W. Bush’s exalted status within particular African countries and the future prospects for US-Africa relations under a new US administration. While asserting that Obama’s rise would scarcely have been possible in Wa Ngugi’s own native Kenya, the author contends that Africans must ultimately rely on themselves if the continent’s promise is to be fulfilled.

Fatima Hassan, is a prominent South African human rights lawyer who was part of a that in early July visited the Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The delegation undertook the mission in order to: "support those, Palestinian and Israeli, working daily, by non-violent means, to bring an end to the post-1967 Israeli occupation, to end all human rights abuses and breaches of international law, and to move towards peaceful relations and a just express solidarity more generation of writers is confounded by the simple and clichéd paradox – the more the world changes the more it remains the same. The imagination wants to be freed from the hold of the past, and yet it finds that the present and the material worlds are indelibly tied to that past. I believe it is to this more the African Union issued a statement so tepid that it might as well as have come from a high-school student conference, low expectations have further diminished. The African Union can now be seen in the same light as its predecessor – the OAU, a drum that beats hollow when it most counts for the African more

In late November of 2007, in a small village in Selingue Mali, I joined over 100 small-scale farmer, pastoralist, organic and civil society organizations from 25 African and 10 non-African countries at a conference that questioned the relevance of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation initiative, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA).

Together with the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gates Foundation has pledged a total of $150 million "to help millions of small-scale more

Mukoma Wa Ngugi argues that rather than being a people power movement, Kenya’s Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) is modeled after political parties that consolidate democracy for International capital and US Foreign Policy. He discusses the differences between a people powered movement and one such as ODM that employs techniques modeled after the Ukrainian orange revolution and the ouster of Aristide in Haiti

One cannot fully grasp what is happening in Kenya and Africa without more