Thursday, July 22, 2010

Smear campaign

HIV prevention breakthrough reported online in Science.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Vuvuzela on Newsnight

What do you get when you cross a Paxman, a Wallen and a vuvuzela?


Friday, July 02, 2010

Kaunda's alternative

Kenneth Kaunda argues that he and his colleagues in the first independent Zambian government had little choice in the policies they adopted. But the policy choices made by Singapore, another small, poor, newly independent Commonwealth state at that time, contradict this view. (Zambia and Singapore became independent in 1964 and 1965, respectively.) Interestingly, Lee Kuan Yew mentions Kaunda and Zambia several times in his book to make precisely this point: policies have consequences. That was true in the 1960s and it is no less true today.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Kaunda reflects

In the latest edition of CNN's African Voices series, Kenneth Kaunda, who looks remarkably youthful for a man in his 87th year, reflects on a long political career. It was interesting to hear him defend some of the more disastrous policies he adopted whilst he was in power: nationalisation (any other approach would have taken too long to benefit the indigenous population); one-party rule (any other approach would have been exploited by racist regimes in the region); and so forth. You see, it seemed like a good idea at the time--and still does apparently. Kaunda's supporters would doubtless point at achievements in health care, education, infrastructure development and regional liberation. However, Kaunda's most notable and indisputable achievement came at the end of his rule when he agreed to re-institute multi-party politics, lost the ensuing election and quietly relinquished power to his political opponents.