Letters Readers’ views took place during the 27 January edition of our programme recorded in Accra.
Your reporter questioned the BBC’s “motives” in organising the debate and wondered whether, with a debate entitled “Is an African Spring necessary?”, the BBC was trying to “promote a North African-
style uprising in the rest of Africa”.
BBCAfricaDebate is a programme for the BBC’s audiences in Africa as well as across the world, focusing on issues of pan-African as well as global significance. The theme of this debate was, essentially, reform and political transition. We were asking audiences how they related to the democratisation in Africa. The point of any debate is to discuss issues that divide opinion. This month we will be in Lusaka to discuss China’s influence in Africa. I hope your journalists will be able to attend our debates and contribute to the BBC’s global debate programme.
olomon Mugera BBC Africa Editor, BBC World Service,
Introduce Appiah the genius to Africa The New African April issue served its readers with a very enriching article entitled “The postmodern Socrates gets his honour”. In fact, Anthony Appiah is an African source of pride and knowledge. But how is it that his 1999 publication AFRICANA:TheEncyclopediaofthe AfricanandAfrican-AmericanExperience is overlooked so often. Please NewAfrican, introduce us fully to this book and others by Anthony Appiah. Africans, particularly, should be aware of such essential works.
oubom Lamy Ney
Thabo Mbeki lecture questioned I was severely embarrassed to read Thabo Mbeki’s speech to university students at Uganda’s famed Makerere University, entitled “The architecture of post cold- war Africa” (NA,February). What I would like to ask Mr Mbeki is: Was it not you (in your previous capacity as president of South Africa) and the then President of Nigeria, the late Yar’Adua, who refused the proposition for a continental African government that was put before the African Union leaders’ summit in Sirte, Libya in 2009. Did not you and Yar’Adua not fail us that day when you joined Angola, Uganda and others in opposing this proposed Union of Africa?
herif-deen Vienna, Austria
Nothing like peace I was baff led to learn that Mali and Guinea Bissau had had military coups. When will our beloved continent be liberated from such? I firmly believe that now is the time to lift our continent from the barren democratic wilderness to the solid rock of peace and stability. It is the time to rise from the desolate valley of protracted and fratricidal wars, to the sunlit path of dialogue and diplomacy. There is nothing so satisfying to the spirit, so defining of our character than abiding peace. My fellow compatriots, with this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our continent into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood and unity. There is nothing like peace.
itata Claude Buea, Cameroon
No ordinary woman I have been reading and admiring Akua Djane’s articles in NewAfricanmagazine. She is no ordinary woman. Her reflections have a way of creating thinking outside the proverbial box. One article in particular really interested me. In the February column, “Racism in Britain: Alive and Kicking”, Djane tackled this festering sore. Racism occurs not only in Britain but in the rest of the world, even here in Africa. Even in South Africa in its new rainbow age, there are still incidents of racist acts of violence and xenophobia.
So, I wonder, does having black skin directly sentence you to eternal perdition?
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki
I think not. I have always known black people to be ambitious and hard-working. Black is beautiful, so why all the hate?
The failures of capitalism Today, the global community is witnessing the failure of capitalism. The imploding system has turned inwards to feed upon itself. Transfixed in a trance-like state of consciousness in pursuit of ever greater profits, its economic institutions have begun to push governments to adopt resolutions which pillage jobs and what were once basic social services of its own citizens. It is a system that has ultimately led to banking and economic institutions dictating to sovereign governments what austerity programmes the country must follow in order to repay its debts.
Capitalism is steadily creating a world governed by financial institutions rather than by governments of the people.
The US, presently at the pinnacle of capitalism, is a country that boasts having the world’s largest economy and the most powerful military.
Yet there are reports that as many as 50 million US citizens are unable to see a doctor. Some studies show that at least 45,000 people die each year due to a lack of health insurance. There is NO shortage of doctors, NO shortage of healthcare facilities and NO shortage of financial capital. There is only a human condition of out-of-control greed, inherent in a capitalist system, which has consumed all basic common sense.
I believe we cannot chase Western capitalism because it is a system that is completely foreign to the African traditional ideas of communalism. It is time for Africa to choose its own political and economic philosophy. It should be an economic and political system that reflects the African consciousness. It is only by the political unification of Africa and the continent employing a collective political solution, guided by Africa’s own communal traditions, that true liberation and political and economic independence will materialise for the African people.
alib Ray Vancouver, Canada
6 New African Magazine May 2012