Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Levy Mwanawasa dies
Just come across the wires. Frankly I didn't have much time for him for most of his Presidency - he seemed to mean well and was not personally dishonest, but achieved very little, being constantly bogged down in an insoluble argument between what was politically possible in Zambia, and the Washington Consensus bill of goods that outside advisors were constantly trying to sell him. Most of the occasional articles I wrote in 2006 and 2007 about how the whole "Africa: Continent of Corruption" narrative was screwed up, and that even an honest African leader faced a set of problems wildly out of proportion to the talents of any normal politician, were on some level about Mwanawasa. As the linked obituary says, "Mwanawasa won praise from the business community and middle class Zambians as well as many Western donors and investors for his free market policies", while dollar-a-day poverty under his watch went from roughly 70% to roughly 70%.
But, in the last six months, as I noted on the blog, he really did take on a massive role in preventing Zimbabwe from falling into civil war, at precisely the time when Mbeki was failing to step up to the mark. I think that Levy Mwanawasa's death is going to leave a much bigger hole in terms of regional leadership than I'd ever previously thought possible. And now there will be an election, which I'll cover; the interest from a blog point off view is that MMD (Mwanawasa's party) is basically pro-China and the Zambian Patriotic Front is "pro-Western" (in the sense of actually promising to recognise Taiwan in the last election). The 2006 election was pretty finely balanced.
this item posted by the management 8/19/2008 08:59:00 AM