Scott Horton Interviews Shashank Bengali

Scott Horton, October 17, 2008

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Shashank Bengali, reporter for McClatchy Newspapers, discusses the new U.S. African command center AFRICOM, the difficulty in finding a host country, the major crises in Somalia and Congo, China’s role in the African oil grab, the capability of U.S. Army humanitarian aide, the fight against AIDS, the Nigerian delta oil conflict and the spread of the “war on terror” to Africa as bin Laden predicted.

MP3 here. (35:47)

Shashank Bengali is based in Nairobi, Kenya, and writes about sub-Saharan Africa. He has reported for McClatchy from more than 25 countries and covered conflicts in Somalia, Sudan, Lebanon, Iraq and Georgia. Before moving to Africa in 2005, he was a roving correspondent for The Kansas City Star. Originally from the Los Angeles area, Shashank studied at the University of Southern California and at Harvard University, where he earned a Master’s degree in public policy. He speaks French and broken Kiswahili.

3 Responses to “Shashank Bengali”

  1. Dear Scott,

    What the continent of Africa in general lacks is, a sound leadership – the ones, we currently have (no exceptions here) managed only to put us in a collision course to each other. And what is scarier than that is – most people are okay with it most of the times – because of the stupid tribalism thing.

    Now, unless we review and if it is necessary, (I am sure it is) get ourselves rid of the way we select our leaders – Africa’s status will not change even a bit. We need to come-up with ways to find brave, incorruptible, and intelligent leaders – if we want to go beyond the situation we are in – a situation where we beg/depend on foreign aids, diseases, and constant warfare among ourselves.

    Our current leaders’ refusal to look beyond the obvious is why we are where we are, and it is their stupidity why they keep signing deals which are not even their own best interests, let alone their countries/people’s best interests – it is time, once for all to get ourselves rid of these a**holes.
    (…)

    Ps: Great interview, btw!

  2. mcayrow,

    that is just fantasy to expect some wonderful clean politician to save us. what we need is institutions like: civil society groups, free press, independent judiciary for rule of law, trade unions, peasants unions, chamber of commerce, keep the military outside of politics. those are the things that we need coz individuals are fallible and always dissappoint but institutions will outlast individual politicians.

  3. “…coz individuals are fallible and always dissappoint but institutions will outlast individual politicians.”

    Xiis:

    You have an excellent point here, bro. Unfortunately, I have to run now – but later on today, I will put on a true story about why I am agreeing with your point.

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