Editorial: Shame of African leadership

Before I became a Hammersmith-bound desk-jockey, I used to travel a bit for work in the developing world: India, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Egypt, Ethiopia, The Gambia, California ... On one occasion I spent a fortnight in Papua New Guinea and picked up some pidgin. 'Namba wan pikinini bilong misis kwin' is, of course, Prince Charles.

by Matthew Gwyther, MT editor

Now, my observations gained from small-time globe-trotting don't give me anything like the depth of experience or insight in the field of globalisation enjoyed by Joseph Stiglitz. (Nor am I ever likely to receive a Nobel prize for economics.) However, I'm worried by his argument that the failures of globalisation lie only at our door: that poor countries are done down solely by the machinations of rich nations and multinationals.

Take the example of the horrific state of Zimbabwe, a beautiful place.

It is currently run by a vicious, kleptocratic tinpot Marxist who has totally screwed up his homeland in a now classic post-colonial African blend of corruption and mismanagement. What makes someone like Mugabe's crimes so heinous is that his country had real potential: a fertile land, a serviceable infrastructure and a host of goodwill from the West.

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