President Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi died on April 5 of a heart attack at the age of 78. His countrymen, suffering a massive economic and political crisis, seem to have declared good riddance. Some of his rogue allies apparently tried to hold on to power after his death, but democracy prevailed with the installation of the vice president, Joyce Banda, to the presidency. President Banda inherits an acute crisis much of which was Mutharika’s making.
Yet we should also remember a positive legacy of the late president, because that legacy holds a key for Africa’s future development and escape from poverty.
Until his final two years, Mutharika had actually engineered an agriculture-led boom in Malawi, one that pointed a way for Africa to overcome its chronic hunger, food insecurity, and periodic extreme famines. To accomplish this, Mutharika had to stand bravely against the arrogance of an ill-informed foreign aid community back in 2005.
Read full article at the International Herald Tribune
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