Uganda's recovery since Museveni came to power in 1986 has been one of the heartening achievements in a continent where the media have given intense coverage to disasters. This book assesses the question of whether the reality lives up to the image that has so impressed the supporters of its recovery. What has actually happened? How successful have the reforms been thus far? What are the prospects for Uganda's future?
Essays by the top scholars in the Weld span the breadth of the issue, from Uganda's growth out of poverty to development at the grass roots level. Developing Uganda replaces the myth and misinformation the last decade has witnessed with a realistic scrutiny by those who have studied it with care and caution.
Hölger Bernt Hansen is director of the African Studies Center at the University of Copenhagen.
Michael Twaddle teaches politics and history at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Hansen and Twaddle are the editors of two renowned books, Uganda Now (1988) and Changing Uganda (1991).
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In August 1986, Alice Auma, a young Acholi woman in northern Uganda, proclaiming herself under the orders of a Christian spirit named Lakwena, raised an army called the “Holy Spirit Mobile Forces.” With it she waged a war against perceived evil, not only an external enemy represented by the National Resistance Army of the government, but internal enemies in the form of “impure” soldiers, witches, and sorcerers.
Can the revolutionary government of Yoweri Museveni’s National Resistance Movement put Uganda back on the road from decay to development? These informed assessments put the present situation in context. The contributors assembled as Museveni’s guerrillas were launching their final bid for power. They have finalized their contributions in the light of the Museveni government’s initial period of power.
Yoweri Museveni battled to power in 1986. His government has impressed many observers as Uganda's most innovative since it gained independence from Britain in 1962. The Economist recommended it as a model for other African states struggling to develop their resources in the best interests of their peoples. But where was change to start? At the bottom in building resistance committees, or at the top in tough negotiations with the IMF? How was it to continue?