May 4, 2012
I apologize if you were deceived by the title of this blog and are expecting shocking revelations that your Converse are fuelling war and corruption in Africa.
But wait! There’s a link.
We also need a new economics of fractured societies. Accepted economic theories work well enough in western societies; these theories are usually painted on one large canvas. But when the canvas is rent into pieces, as it is in many African states, the theories fail or work strangely.
From Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil by Nicholas Shaxson
I made these two wonderfully different purhases in Juba on Saturday last week.
That’s right. All SRAGs.
What does srag even mean?!!
Without really looking at the shoes, I gasped in wonder when a vendor at Juba City (Customs) Market told me I could get a brand new pair of All Stars at SSP35 ($7). I believed him and bought them.
Yes, I am that stupid.
Juba feels much like Kampala, but with networks and norms far more complex than anything I have experienced in an eastern African city. Everything is acceptable, but little is permissible. So bring in your fake Chinese shoes, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics and chocolate. Import everything, anything, you can gather from the streets of Kampala and Nairobi (South Sudan has no real industry), but be ready to pay. On time. In full. To pay not the tax man, not the government. To pay to a system so obscure, so illegal, but so open and acceptable.
Import everything! Sell everything! But books …
read more »
April 29, 2012
And ye will hear of war and rumors of war …
Talks that are not talks at all. The fear about a conflict so far from my reality, but so near. The military ever present on the sidelines; always present in our presence.
Rumor City, South Sudan:
- The coup attempt on was Kiir really real; wasn’t it?
- The SPLA violently conscripting young impressionable men in the countryside.
- Sudan isn’t acting alone, but with the help of greedy oil companies in Asia.
- Kiir’s visit to China a negotiation of a new arms deal.
- Has the AU been bought to distance itself from South Sudan’s cause?
- Is the road to the airport arbitrarily closed off throughout the day to prevent the public from seeing the return of dozens of dead soldiers from the border?
- Did the town officials in Malakal turn a blind eye to the invasion of their territory by SAF on Friday night?
- The cabinet too sharply divided over the “withdrawal” from Heglig to come to a meaningful resolution … that’s what I heard …
Hail Juba, Rumor City!
April 26, 2012
So you won’t get indigestion …
… or lose your appetite …
… or die of starvation …
This is Henry Dilang Odwar (Honorable Member, distinguished geophysicist, eloquent debater, spirited political interlocutor).
This is Henry Dilang Odwar, respected chair of the committee on energy, mining, commerce and industry in the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly.
He has a reason to boast, Henry Dilang Odwar. Under his stewardship, the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly has passed a comprehensive oil bill that puts Uganda’s proposed legislation to shame. It leaves no room for debate about transparency and accountability. Born out of a long history of abuse and obscurity, it wants more; it demands more for all.
Henry Dilang Odwar on the legislative requirement to protect the oil resource:
These (oil) resources are vested in the people of South Sudan. We have learned from experience that vesting them in government on behalf of the people is a wrong move. Governments are unstable, but the interests of the people largely remain the same.
On use of oil revenue:
The bill requires government to put aside money for future generations. We must ensure that the assets exploited by us benefit our children; otherwise, what’s the use? Considering only a small percentage of the area with potential oil reserves has been explored, we have enough to ensure that generations to come will receive something.
All the right words, no? Slowly slowly.
On the legacy of past failures:
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October 18, 2011
Very interesting analysis from Dr. Peter Mwesige on the close(?) relationship between a section of the Ugandan media and the State that may be clouding investigation into alleged corruption in Uganda’s young oil sector.
A definite read.