Letters Readers’ views
A betrayed reader I write this email with sadness in my heart. Sadness because only today I have realised that this beloved magazine, this beloved African voice has betrayed Africa. I have just found out that the magazine is published in Europe!!! How hypocritical of you, esteemed Africans, to have decided to undermine the African capacity to publish. This is a betrayal bordering on unforgivable.
For more than a year I have read every single issue of New African because it deals with those African issues that are very close to my heart. I have on many occasions introduced friends to the magazine because of the message that it promotes, a pride in African culture and the quest for future development. How could you bypass the many capable publishers in Johannesburg and several other South African cities, or Nairobi, Lagos, Abuja, Kampala, Cairo, Dar es Salaam and others and hand over something so African to Europe? How could you, dear friends, how could you?
Following your Twitter account I notice the reason you give is that it is easier to cover all of Africa from London. What a sham of an answer, how can it be easier to cover Africa from without than within? Pray, do explain. Between Kenya Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, South African, Egyptian and a host of Nigerian airlines, Africa is fully covered in a logistical sense for the magazine’s distribution from wherever you publish. Surely, we should not be undermining Africa’s development by steering our valuable investment dollars to European countries that have little interest in the continent’s economic wellbeing?
I beg you, give Africa a chance, invest in Africa, build Africa, buy Africa but most important of all – be African! Stop developing Europe when that continent can take care of itself.
asaku Kioko Nairobi, Kenya
Trade, not aid, debate Edorodion Osa’s February 2012 article in New African should come as no surprise to Africans; it is a song that has been sung since the 20th century, but no one has ever danced to it. The reasons are clear: we are a divided people – they are northerners and we are sub-Saharan Africans.
Sadly, even within our group, there are still subdivisions. How can a divided people trade? I do not know of any state that has developed through foreign aid and if there was one, surely they would be grappling to repay its debts and borrowing more to do so. Such a nation would be perpetually in debt.
As Osa argues, there is no doubt that Africa should prioritise trade over aid, but political and socio-economic progress can only be equitably achieved by a united people. Regrettably, unilateral deals between the West and individual African countries are being struck in the name of “national interest” by a number of African countries.
The priority should now be to develop structures and legislation that will work towards uniting a divided Africa. Without achieving this, I doubt if trade can emancipate the continent from foreign aid and intervention. I’m worried about the path that the continent has chosen in recent times. For how long shall we wait for Africa’s renaissance?
uhendwa Martin, Bukavu, DR Congo
Flawed observations Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is always caught up in one controversy or the other, but she became even more contentious when she attempted to justify Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan’s inclusion in Time magazine’s listing of the 100 most influential people for 2012.
Johnson-Sirleaf embarrassingly said that Jonathan “possesses the qualities needed at this moment of great challenges”.
Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf comes under fire in this month’s postbag
She added: “In two short years, President Jonathan has shown... the dexterity to find the remedies to [Nigeria’s] many complexities.”
Demonstrating her lack of judgement, Johnson-Sirleaf has agreed to host America’s military base (Africom) when most of the Liberian peoples feel that it is unacceptable to do so. For some like me, who passionately support women moving into politics, especially in Africa, Sirleaf has turned out to be a huge disappointment. Thankfully, a second African female president has just emerged in Malawi’s Joyce Banda.
aymond Eyo Zionson
The need for a new breed Thank you for the brilliant article on the new breed of African leadership (New African, May 2012). For many years I have been thinking much the same, that Africa must usher in a new generation of leaders to better reflect and represent the hopes of Africans.
We shall never break free of the cycle of inequity and suffering that many Africans endure until we put behind us the mental slavery that afflicts many of our geriatric leaders. I do not suggest we should ignore their advice and guidance, it would be against all African values to ignore our elders, but our leaders must be imbibed with the spirit and vitality of youth in order to grapple with our problems.
It makes absolute sense to have a youthful leadership, one that can identify with the youthful majority and are not stuck in the past.
A call for brotherhood I was shocked and bemused to learn the terrible news of the military conducting coups in both Mali and Guinea Bissau, and the failed attempt in Guinea Conakry. I thought for a long while about when my beloved continent will be liberated from this type of outrageous behaviour.
I strongly believe now is the time to lift our enviable continent from the barren democratic wilderness to the solid rock
4 New African Magazine June 2012 Zara HoTeL, juba, souTH sudan
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