Courtesy Reuters


Venal leaders are the curse of Africa. If sub-Saharan Africa is "in a mess," to quote Julius Nyerere, Tanzania's founding president, it is a mess made by its leaders. To be sure, Africa has its geographical constraints, a cascade of tropical medical ills, and a complex colonial legacy. But where visionary leadership lifted Asia up out of poverty since the 1960s, too many African heads of state in the same period presided over massive declines in African standards of living while carefully enriching themselves and their cronies.

Some of Africa's current and recent leaders are capable,

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