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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005, 12:11 GMT
Commission for Africa: Kasozi Lubega
BBC News website asked Africans living on the continent for their thoughts on the UK-led Commission for Africa's final report.

Godwin Emejuobi
Godwin Emejuobi:
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Kasozi Lubega
Kasozi Lubega:
Kampala, Uganda

Ousman Njie
Ousman Njie:
Cairo, Egypt

Samantha Smit
Samantha Smit:
Lusaka, Zambia
Iqbal Jhazbhay
Iqbal Jhazbhay:
Pretoria, South Africa

Yared Mussie
Yared Mussie:
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Trevor Simumba
Trevor Simumba:
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Amboka Wameyo
Amboka Wameyo:
Arusha, Tanzania

Kasozi Lubega

The Commission is an opportunity for the Africans and the international community to work together.

Kasozi Ibrahim Lubega (Kampala, Uganda)
Name: Kasozi Ibrahim Lubega
Age: 27
Lives: Kampala, Uganda
Occupation: Research Assistant, Makerere University
Born: Banyankore, Uganda
Religion: Muslim
Ethnic group: Muganda
In 10 words or less: Self-driven, highly motivated, loves seeing the under-privileged achieve their potential

When you look at the magnitude of problems in Africa it is too big.

I was trying to understand the magnitude of the amount of people that died in the Asian tsunami on Boxing Day, where they lost around 200,000 people.

The international community cried, but in Africa estimates go beyond that daily.

The Commission is moving at the right pace but I think that it limits Africa.

Less than half of the commissioners come from Africa.

There are so many reports that have come out of Africa but nothing has changed.

However I think that we have hope this time because Prime Minister Tony Blair, the person who has the initiative and the courage to make changes, is a serving leader.

I hope and believe that Blair's Commission can open a window of hope for the Africans

Previously these initiatives have come from former leaders or bureaucrats looking for personal gains.

I am encouraged by the report's plans to develop an International Arms Trade Treaty as it will help Africa find peace.

However the only way to get peace is through the African leaders themselves.

Democracy will give us the stable environment we need.

The main issue the Commission must address is trade.

Africans don't have bargaining power.

African voices: See where our panel live

They are the victims of unfair global trade.

Almost all the products we buy come from the West from America, and from Asia.

We don't sell, we just give. And they don't give back.

I am encouraged that the Commission is working to remove subsidies but subsidies alone will not solve the problem.

They need to give us access to markets.

Trade is at the heart of everything.

Without trade we cannot develop.

Your comments:

Kasozi, my brother, thank you for highlighting the issue of trade. I hope the Commission will genuinely pursue means of making trade fair - I believe this is the means of allowing Africa to catch up. To give an illustration on how fair trade and competition would benefit not only Africa but also the developed economies: a 0.5kg head of organic cabbage in the cheapest supermarket goes for about 1.20.

In Uganda it would go for the equivalent of 0.22. This price differential indicates that if countries are allowed to trade freely in what their strengths are, it be a great boost to development. But the key markets of the EU are still protected.
Kayondo David, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK

How big you are to dare speak out and support the Commission. Where are the many African suffering victims to join hands and reap from the commission for Africa? Unless we join, the Commission will pass as so many others did. I am currently in Rome doing my masters in Human Development and Food Security but steadily watching the Commission on the desk. Ciao Kasozi.
Tumusiime Dominic, Kabale, Uganda

Thanks so much brother Kasozi for mentioning important things: lack of market for our goods and the African Union. But who will address these problems other than the African leaders themselves. Shame! Something must be done to sort them out.
Kijuga Freddie B, Entebbe, Uganda

It's time we stopped playing the victim and took control of affairs in our own communities. Its not that I'm not grateful to the good people of Western Europe and America but it's time we started trading amongst ourselves... Africa has everything it needs right there on the continent except that its all over the place and those colonial imposed boundaries do us no favours.

Oil, food minerals and plenty overseas educated people. We should be applying the knowledge and skills of these people to build the infrastructure we require. We need to depend less on handouts and source everything we need from within the continent. Countries with food surplus sell it to their neighbours with a deficit. Even crude oil can be purchased from African countries. We need to lose this fascination with all things western.

The only thing we need to retain is their mentality of looking out for your own interests first. If we haven't yet learnt that we'll just get taken for a ride over and over again. Yesterday it was the missionaries opening the door this time they'll call it Commission for Africa. Wake up Africa - play the game.
Mutale, Zambia

You have talked about democracy paving way for development. If Museveni (who's dubbed the darling of the West) changes the constitution to suit him and his cronies will it be good for development?
Kaweesa Henry, Kampala, Uganda

The Commission is a breath of fresh air! However it falls short by focusing on governments instead of the people. Governments have failed us for over four decades, why will they deliver now? You cannot fight corruption by governments in Africa by giving them more money.

What we the people of Africa need is capital to practice capitalism. Set-up venture capital funds so we have access to funds to finance cottage industries and other projects at a village level. Then lift those subsidies which askew the global free trade in favour of the inefficient producers in the rich world.

If these are implemented, we will not need aid! There is a breeze around the African house, but it is only the living room windows that are open - the stench is in the bedroom and the kitchen!
Charles Lwanga Auk, Pallisa, Uganda

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