This weekend, I finally got to watch The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, the Netflix feature film based on William Kamkwamba’s inspiring and bestselling book on how he helped bring water and electricity to his village near Kasungu, which in turn greatly benefited both his family and the local community. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s directorial debut is…

Like millions of people all over the world, I love coffee. And after numerous visits to Malawi over the past decade and a half, I have become a huge fan of Malawian coffee. Last week, following my most recent visit, I returned home to Oslo, Norway with several packets of Satemwa Espresso and Mzuzu coffee,…

Like millions of people all over the world, I love coffee. And after numerous visits to Malawi over the past decade and a half, I have become a huge fan of Malawian coffee. Last week, following my most recent visit, I returned home to Oslo, Norway with several packets of Satemwa Espresso and Mzuzu coffee,…

There are growing concerns among Malawians regarding the country’s fast-growing population—soon expected to surpass 18 million. The typical complaint is that unrestricted population growth is a challenge for a resource-constrained economy and impedes the Malawian State’s ability to feed its citizens and provide quality social services. Some argue that the population “problem” has been exacerbated…

A little over a decade ago, I was in Addis Ababa studying legal empowerment and speaking to a well-known human rights lawyer in my hotel lounge. Around 15 minutes into our conversation, a stranger approached us, greeted me by name and sat down at a nearby table without hiding his interest in eavesdropping on our conversation.…

There is considerable debate in academic and policy circles on the type of leadership and managerial capacities required for overall economic and social development. Successful leaders are often able to combine a set of personality traits such as drive and desire to lead, integrity, self-confidence, intelligence, adaptability, assertiveness and emotional stability. A particularly common distinction…

I have been travelling in India for the past week. Although it faces numerous challenges – a huge population, rising unemployment, growing environmental vulnerabilities – almost everyone I spoke to agreed that, despite many odds, democracy has not only survived but is now firmly entrenched in the social and political fabric of the country.  Scholars…

A most interesting success story in the realm of health comes from Uganda, which in 1982 was the first African country to identify Aids. By the mid-1980s, Uganda had one of the highest HIV prevalence rates in the world, which continued to rise in the next decade and a half. In the 1990s, however, remarkable…

At the start of the New Year, I was giving a set of talks in Beijing on poverty, foreign aid and sustainable development. It gave me an opportunity to renew my interest in better understanding China’s impressive achievements in lifting more than half a billion people out of poverty within two and a half decades.…