Cutting aid to Africa won’t help gay rights

First published in the Boston Globe on Saturday, 11 February, 2012

David Bahati reintroduced anti-gay legislation in the Uganda parliament, to a standing ovation. Photo image: Ronald Kabuubi/Associated Press

WHEN Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke in Geneva at the International Human Rights Day last year, she sent a strong warning to countries passing anti-homosexuality bills that US foreign aid would be tied to tolerance of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community. The message was received with both anger and jubilation.

For the LGBT community, it was an outcome of months of lobbying. Within African countries that abhor the idea of gay rights, it was viewed as another imposition of the United States’ continued policing of sovereign countries. Homosexuality is banned in 37 African countries.

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Ugandans wonder: Is US after Kony, or oil?

First published in the Boston Globe, Saturday 19, November 2011

 Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony is the head of a group considered responsible for many atrocities.FILE 2006/ASSOCIATED PRESS: Ugandan rebel leader Joseph Kony is the head of a group considered responsible for many atrocities.


UGANDANS  GREETED President Obama’s decision last month to deploy 100 US military advisers to central Africa to assist in the manhunt for rebel leader  Joseph Kony with mixed feelings. Immediately, social media outlets were abuzz with the fear that the United States was only interested in Uganda’s nascent oil sector.  Continue reading

Two African women won Nobel Peace Prizes, but the continent still has a long way to go on gender equality

Dr Diane Aker and 2011 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Leymah Gbowee, in conversation on Pray the Devil Back To Hell, Sept 2008, at the Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice (IPJ) at the University of San Diego

The announcement that three women, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, Leymah Gbowee also from Liberia and Tawakkul Karman of Yemen, would be sharing the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was welcomed by women around the globe. The award this year underscores the important role that women in conflict areas around the world play in bringing peace and promoting democracy in their communities. I wrote an op-ed for the angle on Continue reading

Museveni’s grip on Uganda

The story of Vincent Nzaramba’s arrest last month over a publication he had produced touched a nerve. As a writer and journalist, it hit me that the voice of free speech keeps deteriorating in the country and we are all at risk. The fear now is that we shall learn to self-censor the true stories that need to be told in order to survive. I wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe.

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