In March this year Elnathan John, the Nigerian author of Born on a Tuesday, was in Ghana to promote his novel. I attended a reading he held at Vidya bookstore in Osu and I had a fun time. When we had the chance to ask him questions, a lot of them focused on his identity and the experience of growing up as a minority in Northern Nigeria (I admit I asked that question). One woman specifically asked him whether he felt the tale of a Hausa Muslim in Northern Nigeria was his to tell Continue reading
The end of the Politics I know
I woke up this morning thinking about Brexit. Not about the geopolitical or financial impact but what it means for my politics. As far as non-Ghanaian politics is concerned my sympathies usually lie with candidates or causes supported by lower-income people and the intellectual left.
In the case of the UK Labour election I backed Jeremy Corbyn because Continue reading
Is the left waging a war on free speech?
Everyone interested in social discussions online has heard of the war on free speech. Famous people who have made these accusations include Maajid Nawaz, Sam Harris, Jonathan Chait, Richard Dawkins, Stephen Fry and Bill Maher.
If I understand the complaints correctly, there is a war on two fronts. The first front is the refusal of some segments of the left to tolerate dissenting views, often on gender, race and religion, or not to accept the views from people outside of the gender, race or religion being discussed. The second front is Continue reading
What exactly is an enabling environment?
An entrepreneur, Naa, is deciding to expand her business beyond her country. She has two choices – Country A and Country B. Both countries are developing countries but they have two distinct ideas of how to progress and they’re both interested in creating an enabling environment for business.
Country A believes the responsibility of the state is to provide infrastructure and security and to allow the private sector to do the rest.
The business Continue reading
Book review: Capital in the 21st Century by Thomas Piketty
Thomas Piketty is a French economist and professor whose book, Capital in the 21st Century, published in French in 2013 and English in 2014, became an international bestseller. Piketty presents the most extensive review of wealth distribution ever attempted. Drawing from history and literature, he shows that the wealth of the world from antiquity has mostly been concentrated in the top centile (1%).
It started from the concentration of agricultural land read more
Baldwin vs Buckley: the Cambridge debate
I don’t remember where I first heard about this debate between James Baldwin, novelist and civil rights activist and William F. Buckley, founder of the National Review and the man who more than any other has shaped conservative thought in the USA, but I’ve been Continue reading
Book review: The Conscience of a Liberal by Paul Krugman
Paul Krugman won the Nobel prize for Economics in 2008 and was ranked the most influential liberal in the US media by Forbes in 2009. He is one of the leading economic voices in the world and arguably the most prominent one against the wave of austerity that followed the financial crisis of 2007.
The Conscience of a Liberal was published in 2007 and is essentially a justification of Krugman’s politics. The book is deliberately titled Continue reading
John Mahama’s campaign is flawed
With the party primaries of the NDC coming off on November 21, one cannot help but notice the several posters, banners and billboards bearing the faces and slogans of men and women hoping to get into or remain in parliament. There are several competitive match ups in the primaries that call for this level of campaigning however, the most visible campaign belongs to the contestant in the easiest primary race Continue reading
On Jeremy Corbyn, Ghana and a new kind of Politics
Veteran Labour MP for Islington North, Jeremy Corbyn, has won the leadership election of the Labour Party in one of the most surprising electoral races in history. Earlier on in the race he was considered the least likely to win the election but the support of the unions and his opposition to a welfare bill that the rest of Labour abstained from helped Corbyn to surge Continue reading
If Superheroes could vote, who would they vote for?
Superhero movies and cartoons have mostly been the way in which I got to know about superheroes growing up. Like most children, I saw superheroes as representatives of good fighting the evil that attempts to destroy the earth and the innocent helpless humans.
Becoming interested in politics made me realise that many of these superheroes had backgrounds or ideologies which shaped their worldview and determined who they took on. In this post I briefly analyse the backgrounds and ideals of five superheroes Continue reading