Uganda and Neo-Colonialist Capitalism

“The weird story of the arrest of a Canadian education researcher in Uganda”, which was published in The Washington Post on 9th June 2016, is a good example of how education in Uganda is being used as a tool for neo-colonialist capitalism.

Yes, the story has only recently come to one’s attention this week as media reports intensified around controversies surrounding Bridge International Academies (BIA) in Uganda.

The Canadian PhD researcher was arrested for he was likely principled in conducting an empirical study which seemingly could have confirmed what some have characterised as crappy ‘education’ that BIA is offering in Uganda. Why else would BIA allegedly orchestrate the researcher’s arrest?

BIA for-profit-schools benefit powerful and rich capitalist that support them – reportedly including the likes of the World Bank, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg, the 1% basically. use factoids to present themselves as saviours and not as ruthless and greedy capitalist that some think they are.

Among the factoids that BIA and its supporters use to devalue education systems of African countries is to pretend charity by making proclamations such as they charge “$5 a month to families for high-quality nursery and primary education in places where public education is poor or non-existent.”

Plenty allegations that in reality BIA lies. It is alleged that in reality BIA is providing very poor education, if at all, or perhaps even no education to write home about. Be that as it may, one finds much more obnoxious the local collaborators, Ugandans, likely people in power, who facilitate BIA to devalue Uganda’s education system, just so that they, the collaborators, like their masters, can line their own pockets.

Cases such as the BIA saga re-affirm ones objection to business propositions that are couched in pity language. You know those propositions characteristically made by those afflicted by the ‘Machiavellian-saviour-complex’ – such propositions that often begin with or contain outlandish assertions of “we are doing you a favour.”

Propositions, in fact, whose primary purpose is to devalue one from being a client from whom the 1% benefit to a false categorisation of being a beneficiary of the charity of the 1%.

A good example of such obnoxious business propositions include the one which claimed that “Madhavani is offering or sacrificing to bring development to the people of Amuru.”

It is not Madhavani’s job to bring development to the people of Amuru. It is the job of the people of Amuru themselves to do so and with the help of the State. But instead the State seemed aligned with Madhavani more than it was with its citizens.

In the case of BIA, a good question to ask is: why is Uganda’s education poor or non-existent to the extent that justifies BIA to come to our country and to take over the role of the State?

How ironic that this happens under the watch of President Museveni, he who when he came into power in 1986, 32 years ago, promised to liberate Uganda from neo-colonialist capitalism.

2 thoughts on “Uganda and Neo-Colonialist Capitalism”

    1. I read it actually before I posted this. Like many others, including scholarly researchers such as I, I found the response totally suspicious. The rigour with which the GoU vets academic researchers using a “security risk” lense would not have have allowed the subsequent release of the researcher if he did not have clearance to do the research. Something smells off.

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