After a second successful presidential bid in December 2020, Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo is hoping to leave behind a positive legacy with ... the help of a strong network of appointees and relations, most of whom have been given specific tasks to complete before he exits office in January 2025.
A phone alarm rings and with military precision, Lieutenant General Salim Saleh logs onto the video conference call scheduled for the top of the hour.
Sporting an open-necked, blue checked shirt, and cradling a large mug of coffee, Gen Saleh is ready for combat, but he assures me its of the verbal kind. Today it’s more about being a ‘gentleman farmer’ than a security hegemon.
READ MORE Uganda: Growing Kampala's coffee culture
Saleh was speaking from his house in Gulu, the city in Northern Uganda that became the epicentre of the Lord’s Resistance Army insurgency, three decades ago. Now he is leading a national project there to boost coffee production.
East African coffee thrives, thanks to a combination to rich soils, benign climate and local farming expertise.
To mark the occasion, I brewed a pot of coffee with beans from the grassy slopes of the Rwenzori mountains that straddle Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). In demand in Europe and the United States, these light fragrant beans are shipped from both countries. Another reason to find a way to cooperate in the regional economy.
Not your regular businessman
Two points dominate Saleh’s biography. His older brother is Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, to whom he has been a long-time advisor on all matters military. The second point is more contentious. Saleh is widely said to be one of Uganda’s richest businessmen with interests in gold and private security companies, as well as extensive land holdings.