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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005, 11:44 GMT
Commission for Africa: Godwin Emejuobi
BBC News website asked Africans living on the continent for their thoughts on the UK-led Commission for Africa's final report.

Godwin Obinna Emejuobi (Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
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

Godwin Emejuobi

I think that the Commission for Africa is a wonderful thing for us in Africa now.

MEET THE PANEL
Godwin Obinna Emejuobi (Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
Name: Godwin Obinna Emejuobi
Age: 32
Lives: Port Harcourt, Nigeria
Occupation: Administrator, Enymemus Nigeria Ltd.
Born: Imo State, Nigeria
Religion: Christian
Ethnic group: Igbo
In 10 words or less: Youth leader, Evangelist, hardworking and ambitious. Loves singing and praying

From this end I will do everything I can to support the Commission because I believe in it.

Everything depends on leadership.

I'm sure if the Commission do everything they say they will then leadership will be better.

Once we have good leadership in Africa everything else will follow suit.

Education is the only way that people can be empowered to do better and to get better.

There will be no development in Africa without good education.

Presently in Africa, education has lost its strength.

The foundation of education has been abused by our leaders because there is no sponsorship.

Godwin Obinna Emejuobi (Port Harcourt, Nigeria)
Democracy is a government for the people and by the people. They are chosen by the people to serve the people

Most teachers and lecturers have taken up corrupt practises in order to survive.

For example students not only have to read their books but go as far as doing funny things to get good results.

For students to do well in their results they must pay a token.

There are no good books, there are no libraries in the schools.

If the Commission for Africa do what they say they will and help African governments to deliver quality education then that will be wonderful.

Everyone will have an equal opportunity to go to school.

African voices: See where our panel live

At present most people in Africa are willing to leave the continent because they know they will have a better education and they can find sponsorship.

Despite the Commission's intentions there are some things that only God will be able to change.

The debt our countries have, because of our corrupt leadership, is so deep that only God can lift us out of it.

It really has affected every arm of the continent.

Only God can change Africa through our leadership because for a man to be changed he has to be shown and convinced that he is doing wrong.

God will salvage the situation.


Your comments:

I'm afraid the African commission might not achieve its set objective unless true democracy is made to reign in Africa, where incumbent corrupt leaders can be voted out via the ballot box. As opposed to the present reality where incumbents organise sham elections merely to appease the international community and then declare themselves victorious.

Thus, the same failed and corrupt politicians are 'democratically' perpetuated against the people's will. Former army Generals shall continue to rule Nigeria irrespective of what the voters' verdict say. Imagine another cheat like Robert Mugabe who rigged his country's elections, imprisoned the opposition leader and ruined Zimbabwean economy calling Dr Rice a slave girl in 2005!

That reveals the mindset of these so-called African leaders who are expected to lift Africans out of poverty according to Mr Blair's African Commission.
Okechukwu Ibiam, Onitsha, Anambra state, Nigeria.

You made a great point about leadership across mother Africa. The Commission as you noted will only make a difference once we have good leadership across the continent. I think Tony Blair and his allies should first help with having good governance across the continent, before implementing the great commission.

Without that, the commission will just help in causing more chaos and confusion. Most African governments are characterized with corruption, embezzlement, lack of transparency, abuse of human rights and finally inefficient leadership. Tony Blair should first help salvage Africa from bad governance.
Binneh S Minteh, New York University, USA

Some of the comments already submitted address western banks refusing to take money from obviously corrupt African leaders. I absolutely concur. The fact that corrupt officials are confident that they can siphon away millions of dollars of a nation's cash, they will continue to do so. No doubt that officials in the receiving country's banks also gain significantly from such transactions.

I though money laundering was meant to be high on the agenda to avoid drug/people smugglers from benefiting from their ill gotten gains. Perhaps pilfering a nation's entire budget and storing it in a foreign bank is not considered laundering, besides, I suppose drug money does not compare to the financial wealth of a nation, and sadly, money talks┐

I am sure that this stolen money, if returned, will go a long way in solving a lot of financial problems in Africa, never mind foreign aid. Also as long as there are corrupt officials in Africa and the West, no amount of foreign aid will make a difference. It is one thing to blame African leaders of being corrupt but it does take two to tango!
O James, Leeds, UK

I disagree entirely with your assumption that good things will come out of the Commission aiding the African continent. What the Commission will achieve once again is the further enrichment of African corrupt, inept and visionless so-called leaders or how else can we explain the non-accountability of previous aids and grants for the eradication of poverty in African countries.

Before I was born over forty or so years ago, there had been grants in the form of aid by the western world particularly Britain through the United Nation's agencies for the provision of pipe-born water (clean tap water) for the people of Nigeria in order to reduce or eradicate certain diseases.

To date, 80% of the population in Lagos state alone are without tap water. Must the western world continue to donate their hard earn monies through taxes to enrich the pockets of few rouges called leaders?
Bola Olurebi, Lagos, Nigeria

The problem is not education, it's a decent leader who believes in his won people. Who does not see fit to steal 99.9% of the country's wealth, store it in foreign banks that boost someone else's economy, buy 30 Rolls Royce's (even though he is too ignorant to drive it) and park it in front of your house while you're starving because of this ignorant illiterate's greed. To add insult to further injury, this moron will see you starving/struggling.

For him to give $10 out of his own pocket (even though money is not his), this sadistic, ignorant being of a person would rather rob you of your pride/dignity by watching you beg before he even considers giving you the money. Yet this is supposed to be your brother/sister. Unity among our people, and a better brand of leadership is needed, not aid, not debt relief, but leadership and unity.
Moyo, UK

I completely agree with your comments on the corrupt leaders of Africa. The same holds true for most African countries. To add more, the bad records of developed world puts me on the pessimist's side as I have strong suspicion over Mr Blair's move to 'alleviate' Africa's problems which are already deepened by him and his allies through history.

Unless we are able to learn from history, we are still prone to the worst whatever it is. It never came to my mind that the market and cheap labour-hungry world would favour Africa's poor.

The solution is only in the hands of the ordinary Africans to stand on their corrupt systems in a systematic way. Or, God himself has to come and pass the world! Our leaders are as cruel as hyenas. What can I say...
Dodge, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

The monster that has caused intractable abject poverty in Africa is corruption. However, as the Nigerian finance minister has rightly challenged the rich nations to ratify the UN anti-corruption treaty if they are really not privy to encouraging more looting from Africa into their nations.

If the UK, US and indeed the G8 were truly morally unhappy with the stashing of stolen African money in their banks they should then emulate the Switzerland example to freeze those accounts and repatriate the stolen funds as part of foreign aid to the affected African nations.

They can even insist on certain pre-conditions that the affected countries should allow them use the funds to directly or indirectly (using UNICEF or relevant UN bodies) to fund universal basic education projects or communities portable water supply schemes or primary/tertiary healthcare equipment projects etc.

This will guard against the sure risk of a second looting of the funds in the hands of corrupt state officials.
Madam Ijeoma Uwah, Nnewi, Nigeria

Godwin, what a joy to see you unequivocally mention God as the only ultimate answer, although, as you say, we must do things in the natural realm, such as education, to take responsibility. If only the media had the sense to study the effects the massive Christian revivals amongst millions of Africans are having on communities, and sometimes, whole nations. Thank God Africa can tell the truth!
Steven McDaniel, Sand Springs, OK, USA

The UK led commission report sounds too good to believe; but if I must, the driving force behind this new approach must be clear in my mind. What has touched Tony Blair and his likes this time about Africa? Is this a move toward globalization or an attempt by Blair to save face for the mistake of the pass? Whatever the case is, the realization of the report lies in the application and not the documentation alone.
Emmanuel Ammah, Monrovia, Liberia

You have said education is the key ingredient here but what about basic necessities like food, water and shelter? The government has not allocated the resources efficiently. We have resources and funds which are not channelled to the right direction. The people in the remote areas are getting absolutely nothing.

God has given us intellect and wisdom but we do not want to repent and recant from our bad practises. We need not drift away from Nigeria because it is a rich country that needs to wake up, because God has given us that power. We need to work before we ask for God's protection but everyone wants to be rich in a twinkle of an eye.

We have to start from somewhere. All individuals need not only think about themselves but society as a whole because that way Nigeria will survive. I have plans for this great economy which is rapidly dwindling. May God Guide us all. Amen.
Hawa Ocheni, Kogi, Nigeria

How does Mr Tony Blair imagine to bring development money into Africa without tackling the biggest African challenge of official corruption and accountable democracy? I don't personally share his optimism about this African Commission. As long as the industrialised nations permit corrupt African officials to own choice estates and operate fat bank accounts from questionable sources of wealth, the status quo would remain even with Mr Blair's goodwill notwithstanding.

If President George W Bush could trace, disrupt and freeze terrorist funds stashed in hidden bank accounts worldwide, why can they not freeze the stolen billions from Africa? The billions Mr Blair is campaigning for would still ultimately end up one way or another in state officials' private bank accounts right there in UK, USA, Swiss or Asia.

The African leaders would use all sorts of arguments on national sovereignty etc to compel those funds into their own hands. Thus Blair's dream would die like others have before as the funds fade into thin air from complex African bureaucracy.
Brendan Ibay, Nigeria

Giving handouts to Africa will not solve African problems. The root cause of the whole problem in Africa is the never ending ethnic conflict aggravated by religion. If Mr Tony Blair wants to solve the problems in Africa then, he should be bold to advise African leaders to revisit colonial boundaries. Secondly, western nations should enact a law stopping their financial institutions to accept looted funds from Africa.
Nanu Nanu, Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Ever since I can remember the world has been pouring money and resources into Africa with little or negative change. I totally agree with Nanu Nanu (above) that the never-ending ethnic and religious conflicts simply soak up the effort that goes in and deepen the requirement for further aid. What a totally astute and realistic individual Nanu Nanu is.
John Graham, London




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