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The cause of poverty in Uganda

One of my favourite research topics is “Cultural Imperialism” and so you can imagine how I feel whenever I happen on material that describes or explains cultural imperialism. It makes me “woke”. Yes, this morning, Wednesday, 25th April 2018, I happened on and watched a video of an interview of Dr. Jorg Wiegratz (PhD) about his book: “Neoliberal Moral Economy in Africa”. I am “woke”.

I use the word “woke” herein to describe my state of being in the same context as “woke” is used in the women’s movement in pushing for progress to attain gender equality. Yes, “woke” to mean awake and not in the sense of “I am not asleep”, but in the sense of “I am aware”.

During his interview, Dr. Wiegratz gave insight into the contents of his book, which include, according to him, an analysis of how “economic deception” has become routine and has been institutionalised in Uganda; and how such institutionalisation of “economic deception” has normalised and intensified fraud, economic crime and trickery in doing business.

Basically, it would appear, our morals here in Uganda, in particular, have been ‘engineered’ and altered to the extent that our moral strength has been so weakened that we do not resist the evil that is unchecked liberal capitalism.

So weakened is our moral strength to the extent that when the “servants of capitalism” speak of promoting investors, of modernisation, of industrialisation, of liberalisation, of free trade, of blah  and blah, we cheer them along.

We are subconscious of how those very “servants of capitalism”, the investors that they promote and the ideologies that they promote – modernisation, industrialisation, liberalisation, free trade, blah and blah – are the very root source of our poverty.

Instead, the “servants of capitalism” call us backward and we accept. They blame us for our poverty and we accept that we are the problem. Through deceit they seduce us to accept that our heritage, the wisdom and the knowledge systems that our ancestors bequeathed us, are the cause of our poverty.

And the master stroke of the “servants of capitalism” is their considerable success in brainwashing us to accept that in order to be ‘better’ we need to ethnocide the culture of our ancestors and to adopt a culture that is exogenous in origin. How so culturally dislocated we have become.

I do not deceive myself. I cannot single-handedly change the tide, but as I have become more “woke”, I have a choice to resist it. Resist all of the tide at once, I may not be able to; but resist some of it that I can, I will surely do.

I can and I will buy Dr. Wiegratz’s book.

I can and I will read Dr. Wiegratz’s book.

I can and I will with my new awakening from Dr. Wiegratz’s book better critique neoliberal capitalism and its negative consequences in Uganda.

I can and I will, starting with this blog post, encourage all Ugandans with means and good intention to buy and read Dr. Wiegratz’s book; and from the understanding that they derive from it, begin to ask and answer the question: “Who really is the root source of our poverty in Uganda?”

I am a “woke woman” and so the revolution begins.

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed in this blog post are of the author, Ms. Norah Owaraga, but are not necessarily those of CPAR Uganda Ltd.



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