There is a lot of talk about agriculture being the fix that will ensure Africa's economic development. This is very true and I hope our young leaders are paying attention to this. Can we effect change in our rural areas in order for agriculture to lift us from abject poverty? James Shikwati, George Ayittey, Charles Njoroge and Charles Muigai show that there must be a paradigm shift in mentality for Africa to be prosperous in this century. These are not the times for handouts and foreign aid. External intervention must be in the form of economic consultation, capital investments, foreign direct investment that builds and employs our home grown human and natural resources for the benefit of Africa. We can make this case to the world and I think the world is ready to bring business to Africa, only if we stop talking about it and start to act. Do something, Period.
Oklahoma State University, USA
African governments have an important role to play in curbing the present global food crisis. The crisis is likely to worsen malnutrition and HIV/AIDS as well as increase crime and violence in Africa. Africa's chronic food shortage (despite the continent's vast arable land) is a result of poor agricultural policies, poverty, outdated farming methods, climate change, overgrazing, poor infrastructure, and insufficient opportunities for economic growth. African governments should ensure a renewal of agricultural diversity on crops and livestock; support small scale farmers and provide infrastructure that will make smallholder farmers grow into large scale farmers. This will help in producing more food crops.
Mau Forest Saga Tricky
This is a very tricky situation. Our leaders must frame a forward looking message to the inhabitants of this part of Kenya in a way that addresses their socio-economic needs and preserves the environment. There must be a meeting of the minds between all stakeholders that hinges on socio-economic development and environmental conservation. It's a win-win situation if the government could find good land with secure property rights outside the Mau Forest to relocate this community.
Oklahoma State University, USA
South Africa: Why is Brother Fighting Brother?
It is worthy of note that Nigeria's Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe, FT Monday June 2, 2008, reminded South Africans of the debt they owe other Africans for their contribution in fighting apartheid. This comes on the heels of recent attacks on immigrants especially those from other African countries. Isn't this more of the 'return of history' as we know it? Back in the early 1980s, Nigerians chased Ghanaians out in what was then known and christened 'Ghana Must Go', which incidentally led to a traveling bag bearing the same name after that infamous incident. In the same early 80s, when Nigeria thought it had it going on, its false sense of arrival and success; 'pride' going before a fall, led Nigeria national soccer team the Green Eagles, to insult Ethiopians during a visit to Addis Ababa. How the 'mighty' has fallen. What Nigerians are experiencing now, it once did to others not too long ago; very unfortunate but what goes around comes around!
When African leaders especially a country like Nigeria, that is regarded as the 'Giant of Africa', extends effective leadership to her citizens, her people will not have to run over to other countries looking for 'greener pastures', which often leads to red and deadly conditions. Nigeria needs to straighten its act and offer a place where her people will see living overseas as a secondary choice and not a strong option.
I will hope that when the leadership sees how her citizens are treated overseas it will inspire a better way to try and keep one's people close at home: Charity must begin at home before it spreads abroad.
Ejike Okpa II