Letters Readers’ views
Homosexuality and foreign aid In her “Reflections of an ordinary woman” (NA, January), Akua Djane made some sweeping statements concerning all Africans that were patronising to their core.
Given the current foreign direct aid (FDA) investment trend from the East, it has been quite easy for African governments to reject aid from the West that comes with conditions, when aid from the East comes without such interference. Thus, Ghanaian President Atta Mills’ rejection of, and speaking out against, British FDA with conditionalities is nothing more than a Trojan horse to smooth the way for Chinese aid to be gained at the price of mortgaging Ghana’s future petroleum/gas assets.
And, it should be clearly stated that a change from British to Chinese aid has nothing to do with same-gender-loving Ghanaians/Africans.
I actually did not quite get Akua’s connection between the economics of aid and the rant on homosexuality. And by the way, if Atta Mills has rejected British foreign aid, just what did the administrations of Rawlings and Kufour accept and with what kind of conditionalities and from who and in what amounts? Now, this would be a more interesting fact-finding commentary in line with a pan-African people-educating publication.
K Felix Mjumbe Berkleley CA, USA
Yes, Obote has been forgotten Allow me space in your distinguished magazine to make a comment on Tom Oniro’s report entitled “Forgetting Obote” (NA, December 2011). I agree with Oniro that the Museveni government has forgotten Milton Obote. Even in [current] Ugandan history books, Obote is given very limited space.
But the truth is that during his rule after independence in 1962, Obote built many hospitals in rural areas, hospitals which were fully supplied with medicines and doctors who were available all the time.
Also, importantly, during the Obote government, we never heard of any ministers or civil servants being corrupt.
Obama not right on gay rights In response to Demba A. Jawo’s letter “Obama is right on gay rights” (NA,Feb), I would like to say Obama and any other person who thinks like him can’t be right on this issue.
What a l l African leaders are sayi ng i s t hat le g a l i s i ng g ay r i ght s i s against the moral and religious va lues of Africans and as such, incongruous to the A f rican personalit y, and they have a duty to guard our interests. Africans are humans just like all others on earth and we cannot accept anything that is against our sensibilities as a people. Jawo’s assault on our intellectuals who are against gays is therefore without basis. Globalisation does not mean we should lose our Africanness.
People talk about rights. What are they? Rights are conferred on a people by society. As such, if the majority of a people sees a particular act as injurious to society, then it means that particular act cannot be acceptable in that milieu. We are Africans and what we believe in as people makes us who we are. Let us stand firm and fight this canker with a l l our might and strength before it festers and becomes something we can’t deal with.
r Kwame Kwakye Cape Coast, Ghana
ECOWAS under Ouattara The first Ivorian President, Felix HouphouetBoigny (1960-1993), played a crucial role in launching the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) in 1975, despite his initial concerns about Nigeria’s influence in the West African region (Houphouet was one of the key leaders of
British PM David Cameron, whose controversial statements on aid and gay rights continue to provoke a lively postbag the Francophone bloc). Yet he intentionally never sought to rule the organisation, and in fact no Ivorian President has ever chaired ECOWAS.
Ouattara’s appointment in February (as new head of West Africa’s regional bloc, replacing Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan) is consistent with the diplomatic and institutional efforts undertaken by the majority of ECOWAS states to end the political stalemate in Cote d’Ivoire.
The key test will probably be Ouattara’s ability to push through initiatives designed to boost intra-regional trade, develop the ECOWAS transportation network and further increase energy cooperation. While a single ECOWAS currency will most likely not materialise in the foreseeable future, more regional economic integration is not inconceivable.
amir Gadio London, UK
Correction This photo, which we published in our March issue as part of the Ghana Special Report (p. 36), carried a wrong caption which said the American boxer Muhammad Ali (in kente cloth) was being welcomed by President Kwame Nkrumah to Ghana’s 1957 independence celebrations. The right date was 23 May 1964 when Nkrumah welcomed Ali to Accra.
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