Africa’s illiberal state-builders | Will Jones
- 18 February 2013
- Blogs / articles
Will Jones writes for Debating Development, examining the state agendas of Sudan, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Angola
There is a set of countries in Africa which seem to polarise opinion more than any other. For some, Rwanda is the donor darling rising triumphantly from the ashes of genocide, beloved by Tony Blair and a chorus of international admirers for its rigorous pro-business attitudes, severe controls on corruption, and successful articulation of a harmonious and peaceful society characterised by reconciliation and ethnic amity. For others, Rwanda is in the grip of a vicious ethnic dictatorship which unhesitatingly clamps down on dissent within the country, regularly breaches human rights, and is the chief villain in the ongoing chaos in the Congo. The leaders of Angola come in for similar treatment: either the visionary architects of the post-war boom and reconstruction of the country, or a clique of indolent autocrats who have abandoned the overwhelming majority of the population to fatten themselves on oil largesse.