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Colonial porn – Winston Churchill, Nobel literature prize winner

Published in 1908 when Winston Churchill was 34 – yet to become the British Prime Minister, to be awarded the literature Nobel and to be knighted by the Queen – My African Journey brings us into the colonial mind, and shows us how it makes allowances for brazenly racist statements. ‘It is unquestionably an advantage that … Continue reading

Modi facts – exposing Modi’s lies

Chief Minister of Gujarat (and favourite for Prime Minister of India) Narendra Modi’s state has lagged others in development

Recommended reading for aspiring development practitioners

As aspiring development practitioners are thinking of what to read before they apply or enter degree programmes that will help get them dev jobs, I thought I’d suggest some accessible books. Shout out if you have any further suggestions!   1) King Leopold’s Ghost by Adam Hochschild << Berkeley journalism lecturer demonstrates how blatantly development has … Continue reading

African (frontier market) risks associated with PPP infrastructure

and how they can be mitigated. Compiled by a PPP transactions advisor to Rwanda (me). Barriers to private investment in African infrastructure: Country political risk –          Eg. medium or high likelihood of terrorist attacks, war, corruption, riots, strikes Risk of expropriation Payment risk Insolvency for state off-takers such as state utilities Inflation/currency depreciation Currency convertibility Risk … Continue reading

Wagah border

Friendships across borders

For Friendships Across Borders: Aao dosti karein (facebook group) on Valentine’s Day Prompt from Chintan Girish Modi: Dear Hussein and Imad, This Valentine’s Day, when people in various parts of the world celebrate love, I want to publicly launch an initiative that is quite close to my heart. I’m calling it: Friendships Across Borders. The Urdu … Continue reading

Is your local public-private partnership going to be a happy one?

By Imaduddin Ahmed and Shilesh Muralidhara The East African | January 11, 2014 Partnerships can be wonderful. They can also be disastrous. So, too, is this the case with partnerships entered into by governments and businesses for the delivery of public goods, which can either lose countries millions of dollars per project or initiate virtuous … Continue reading

45 books I read this year

(Obviously some books could fall into several of the below categories)   Human nature   1 Pinker: We’ve become less violent as we’ve become civilised  2 Rosseau: Humans are essentially good and are better-off until they become civilised  3 Dawkins: We exist to carry forth our genes  4 Satre: We have no reason for existence  5 … Continue reading

Stories private equity is looking for in Africa

Businesses: –    The business model is scalable –    There is a compelling case that there is large latent/unmet demand for the product/service –    Competition is underperforming/non-existing and barriers to entry are high –    Competition for financing a given firm is low (don’t want to enter a bidding war) –    Strong personal relationships with management –   … Continue reading

View from Mt Karisimbi

Land of a thousand hills

Imaduddin Ahmed delights in the charms of a transformed Rwanda The Friday Times | July 05 – 11, 2013 – Vol. XXV, No. 21 Rwandans greeted outsiders well into the nineteenth century with hails of arrows. And who could blame them? The first European to the area – an officer of the British Indian army … Continue reading

African cleavages

New to Sub-Saharan Africa but bitten by the private equity bug that says invest to capture its growth? Visualising SSA as one monolithic entity and having difficulty in breaking it into digestable parts? Here are a few cleavages to consider to get you going. Distinguish consumer markets with a lot of growth potential (economic growth … Continue reading

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