Liam Taylor

Uganda-based journalism


My published articles have appeared in The Economist, African Arguments, Thomson Reuters, African Business, The Christian Science Monitor, 1843 and Next City. Links to published pieces are below.

Please note that these stories get edited. In most cases, that makes them better. But it also means that I don’t always agree with every word that gets written in them. 

In African Arguments:

‘”Music exposes thieves”: meet Bosmic Otim, “northern Uganda’s Bobi Wine”‘, 9 April 2019

A profile of Acholi popstar Bosmic Otim (with John Okot).

‘Museveni says he’s “not excited” about Uganda’s oil. Is anyone anymore?’, 7 December 2016

Ugandan oil will not transform the country (with Michael O’Hagan).

‘To break or to build: The choice now facing Uganda’s opposition’, 4 April 2016

How Uganda’s opposition may respond to defeat in disputed elections.

In African Business:

‘Connection problem: MTN runs intro trouble in Uganda’, 5 April 2019

The boss of Uganda’s biggest telecoms company is deported.

In The Christian Science Monitor:

‘As Uganda’s education system struggles, for-profit schools become flashpoint’, 16 December 2016

Uganda tries to close Bridge International Academies, a chain of for-profit schools.

In Next City:

‘How one African city is flipping the script on urban development’, 26 July 2016

The city of Kampala has boosted revenue collection, but who pays?

For the Thomson Reuters Foundation:

‘”Cutting everything in sight”: Ugandans vow to curb rampant deforestation’,  12 March 2019

The fight to save northern Uganda’s trees from logging and charcoal burning.

‘”Buying air”, or how not to invest in land in Uganda’,  6 April 2018

Signs reading “this plot is not for sale” are everywhere in Uganda.

‘Naked force meets naked resistance in northern Uganda land conflict’,  24 November 2017

The struggle for land in northern Uganda.

‘In Uganda, row over land shines light on historic kingdom’, 26 June 2017

Land tensions are stirring conflict in the Buganda kingdom.

In 1843:

‘A visit with Dr Quack’, February/March 2019

Selling health supplements in Kampala.

In The Economist:

‘The bigger the better’,  27 April 2019

In Nigerian banking, size matters.

‘Sticky expectations’,  4 April 2019

Uganda tries to dodge the ‘presource curse’.

‘The word on the kona’,  4 April 2019

A new dictionary captures how people in Africa talk about politics.

‘Trial and terror’,  21 March 2019

The trial of a former leader in the Lord’s Resistance Army.

‘Of puritans and pain’,  31 January 2019

Uganda has one of the best palliative care systems in Africa (with a colleague in Senegal).

‘Dirty money’,  31 January 2019

The difficulties of measuring illicit financial flows.

‘The winding road’,  24 January 2019

Monetary policy in much of Africa has become more orthodox.

‘Paying for rain’,  13 December 2018

Why demand for agricultural insurance is so low.

‘Sweet dreams’,  17 November 2018

Cocoa processing is not a golden ticket for west Africa.

‘Tough call’,  17 November 2018

The battles of MTN, a South African telecoms giant.

‘Vexed in the city’,  8 November 2018

Opposition politics in African cities (mostly written by a colleague in Harare).

‘How does your garden grow?’,  3 November 2018

How governments can nurture an African green revolution (with a colleague in Ethiopia).

‘The river between’,  1 September 2018

Informal cross-border trade in Africa.

‘The Economist explains: why treason cases are so common in Africa’, 30 August 2018

Why African opposition leaders are often charged with treason.

‘Hands up for the ghetto president’,  23 August 2018

The arrest of Ugandan singer and politician Bobi Wine.

‘Bad cops’,  5 July 2018

The politics of Uganda’s police force.

‘First gear’,  28 June 2018

Volkswagen begins car assembly in Rwanda.

‘Making waves’,  14 June 2018

The rise of pan-African banks.

‘Own goals’,  14 June 2018

Corruption is just one reason why fans don’t watch Ghanaian football.

‘The war on conception’,  14 June 2018

The Tanzanian government kicks pregnant girls out of school.

‘Worn out’,  31 May 2018

The second-hand clothes trade (with help from a colleague in Mansfield).

‘A fragile recovery’, 12 May 2018

Some African economies are turning a corner; others are in the doldrums.

‘Squeezed out’,  28 April 2018

There is not as much land in Africa as some people think.

‘Let them work’,  21 April 2018

The strengths and shortcomings of Uganda’s refugee policy.

‘Escaping the maize’,  12 April 2018

Some African government are trying to diversify away from maize.

‘Trump’s other trade war’,  7 April 2018

Rwanda and the US fall out over second-hand clothes.

‘Taxes and taxis’,  7 April 2018

The challenges of raising revenues in Kampala.

‘Opening the market’,  22 March 2018

Forty-four African countries sign up for the Continental Free Trade Area.

‘Overpriced’,  15 March 2018

Food in Africa is surprisingly expensive.

‘Africa in the red’,  8 March 2018

Some African countries have taken on too much debt.

‘Bacchus goes bananas’,  8 February 2018

African businesses are putting traditional wines into new bottles.

‘Franc exchange’,  27 January 2018

The CFA franc comes under fire.

‘Fall of the mountain king’,  19 December 2017

A year after a massacre in Kasese, there is no justice for the victims.

‘Africa unite’,  7 December 2017

African countries are building a giant free-trade area.

‘PIC apart’,  19 October 2017

Politics ensnares the Public Investment Corporation, Africa’s biggest asset manager.

‘The Economist explains: why Uganda’s politics are failing its people’,  3 October 2017

Ugandan MPs are brawling in parliament. Why?

‘No country for young men’,  30 September 2017

Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni tries to extend his rule.

‘A dime’s worth’,  1 September 2017

Naspers, Africa’s biggest company, is only profitable because of its stake in Tencent.

‘Always something new’,  18 August 2017

The failure of structural transformation in Africa.

‘Fixing the roof’,  22 July 2017

African credit unions need regulation, not handouts.

‘Lost in the maize’,  1 July 2017

Fertiliser subsidies in Africa do not always work as intended.

‘Callable bond’,  1 July 2017

Kenya launches the world’s first mobile-only government bond.

‘Road rage rules’, 24 June 2017

A Zambian opposition leader is charged with treason.

‘Return of the loan arranger’, 15 June 2017

The IMF is back in Africa. Has it changed?

‘Blown off course’,  25 May 2017

A proposed trade deal between the EU and east Africa runs into trouble.

‘The Economist explains: why Namibian chiefs are taking Germany to court’, 17 May 2017

Chiefs of the Herero and Nama peoples want reparations for genocide.

‘Transfer market’, 12 April 2017

The success of a money-transfer company in Zambia.

‘Buried treasure’,  16 March 2017

Africa’s sovereign wealth funds need to decide what they’re for.

‘Party of business, 2 March 2017

The Rwandan Patriotic Front has a formidable business empire.

‘Unfree trade’, 2 February 2017

Cities across Africa are cracking down on street vendors.

‘Boats and a scandal’, 19 January 2017

Mozambique defaults on its debt.

‘Short of stock’, 3 December 2016

Many of Africa’s stock exchanges are too small to prosper.

‘The Economist explains: Why Africa’s borders are a mess’,  17 November 2016

Africa is fixing its frontiers. (Not my choice of headline).

‘The oil effect’, 29 October 2016

Commodity exporters are the worst hit by Africa’s downturn, says the IMF.

‘Poor law’, 22 October 2016

Paralegals and access to justice in Africa.

‘The green light’, 8 October 2016

The UN’s flagship climate fund is still working out what it’s for.

‘Tests of character’, 1 October 2016

How personality testing can help financial inclusion.

‘ARC’s covenant’, 27 August 2016

A drought insurance scheme fails to pay out in Malawi.

‘Worth celebrating’, 11 June 2016

The East African Community has boosted trade in the region.

‘Caught in the middle’, 4 June 2016

Small businesses struggle to access credit in developing countries.

‘The “people’s president” is jailed’, 21 May 2016

The main opposition leader in Uganda is charged with treason.

‘Credit limit’, 30 April 2016

Chinese loans to Africa are less than is commonly reported.

‘Ante upped’, 2 April 2016

Tough times in African bond markets.

‘From Russia with Love’, 16 January 2016

Plunging remittances in central Asia.

‘Far-sighted’, 9 January 2016

Banking for immigrants in Europe and the US (with help from a colleague in New York).

‘Barmy weather’, 2 January 2016

Unusual weather at Christmastime.

‘The world’s fastest developing countries’, 14 December 2015

Rwanda has made big strides according to the UN’s Human Development Index.

‘The Economist explains: Ecological economics’, 13 December 2015

Ecological economics in four paragraphs.

‘Winning converts’, 31 October 2015

Credit unions are growing in popularity.

‘RushCard leaves its (mostly poor) customers in the lurch’, 22 October 2015

Pre-paid card customers can’t access cash due to a technical error.

‘University of Life’, 21 October 2015

A US housing boom has reduced college enrollment.

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