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About the Author

Helena Goldon
NGO Consultant, Programmes Department/Journalist (POLAND) A change agent. Main focus: people. Writes based on her experience as a freelance correspondent for the Polish Radio - from Uganda, Zambia, Lebanon, and Malawi and project work in the field. Worked also as Assistant Producer for Save the Children on a documentary on rehabilitation of children abductees to Joseph Kony's rebel group and coordinated projects co-financed by the Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Board member of Development Cooperation Centre.



Published 16th July 2010 - 12 comments - 13287 views -

Recently in ‘The Economist’ I came upon an article that left me completely baffled – ‘Leaders of the fee world’. I used to hear about the exuberant salaries and facilities the political leaders in the developing world have at their disposal (if you still haven’t, check out recent Wouter’s post), but I have to say I had no idea about such glaring discrepancies.  













Just take a look yourselves at this graph:

Courtesy: The Economist

Two weeks ago Kenya's prime minister, Raila Odinga rejected an increase of his salary to nearly $430,000 a year, a rise which would place him among the highest-paid political leaders in the world. The Kenyan MP’s however fearlessly granted themselves a 25% boost to $161,000. Indeed there are two Kenyan tribes, I thought.

The basic salary is obviously just a part of the total salary(including all the expenses) and although the graph doesn’t show much about the corruption and transparency issues, it is anyway very interesting.

I am a great fan of Polyp’s cartoons. The topics he covers are very much related to our Th!nk3 theme.


Images: Courtesy: Adal Voice, Polyp



What do you th!nk?


Category: Politics | Tags: politics, poverty, corruption, money,


  • Luan Galani on 16th July 2010:

    @Helena, you called our attention for something very important. These blatant discrepancies are inadmissible. That list surprised me quite a lot. What can developed countries do to halt this (besides piling pressure upon such leaders)? Well, such actions would be taken as some sort of intervention in their domestic affairs, wouldn’t? I believe we have to discuss it deeply.

  • Luan Galani on 16th July 2010:

    Oh, BTW, I loved the cartoons! I’m a cartoon junkie wink

  • Liisa Leeve on 16th July 2010:

    Part of the problem must be, as Wouter also wrote about in one of his posts ( that people without proper education don’t have a grasp on numbers. They don’t know how much is a lot and how much is little.

    Therefore they really don’t know or understand that their leaders are sucking their country dry and can’t revolt against it.

  • Luan Galani on 16th July 2010:

    Yeah, Liisa, you’re right, providing education for those people is crucial. But that is a long-term plan. And for a short one? What can we and our governments do?

  • Andrea Arzaba on 16th July 2010:

    Ahhhh….capitalism…that’s all I would like to say

  • Johan Knols on 17th July 2010:

    Like the Romans already said a long time ago:
    “Give the paupers their bread and games and they won’t be annoying”.

    Nothing is changing. (At least very little).

  • Hussam Hussein on 17th July 2010:

    it made me reflect.. thx

  • Clare Herbert on 18th July 2010:

    Fantastic cartoons, particularly the first one.

  • Helena Goldon on 18th July 2010:

    @ all of you guys - thanks for your comments!
    @Clare - have you seen other Polyp’s cartoons? they’re hilarious smile))

  • Clare Herbert on 19th July 2010:

    CHeers Helena, I’ll check them out.

  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 23rd July 2010:

    Is Kenya representative of Africa at large? From the chart it seems like the south east asian tiger economies stand out a little. Interesting that India and China stand out in the other end of the chart.

  • Hieke van der Vaart on 28th July 2010:

    Flabbergastingly bamboozling smile

    Too bad the Economist has a paywall.. :s

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