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Last Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005, 11:51 GMT
Commission for Africa: Ousman Njie
BBC News website asked Africans living on the continent for their thoughts on the UK-led Commission for Africa's final report.

Godwin Emejuobi:
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Kasozi Lubega:
Kampala, Uganda

Ousman Njie:
Cairo, Egypt

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

Yared Mussie:
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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

Ousman Njie

The Commission for Africa is not entirely a good idea.

MEET THE PANEL
Ousman Njie (Cairo, Egypt)
Name: Ousman M Njie
Age: 22
Lives: Cairo, Egypt
Occupation: Unemployed (recently graduated with Education degree)
Born: Fass Omar Saho, The Gambia
Religion: Muslim
Ethnic group: Wolof (Serere)
In 10 words or less: Ambitious young man who believes in knowledge and works seriously

UK Prime Minister Tony Blair is trying to win his lost empire back.

It is a new phase of trying to colonise Africa, an evasive way of gaining power over Africa.

It is a deception.

I believe this because of the daily happenings in Africa.

Every day Mr Blair criticises Zimbabwe for bad governance, lack of democracy and human rights violations.

What about Uganda? Does Mr Blair ever criticise President Museveni? What about what is happening in my country, the Gambia?

He only criticises those leaders that rebuff British interests. It is hypocritical to have Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa as commissioners.

They are not good leaders. They were not chosen democratically.

Ousman Njie (Cairo, Egypt)
I do not trust Mr Blair and I do not believe the West is willing to help Africa

Africa is not fairly represented by the Africans on the Commission.

The way Mr Blair is being helped by these people is very difficult to understand.

At first they will seem to be furthering African interests but in the end we will see it will only further British interests.

As long as Mr Blair is on the Commission I don't think it will help our continent.

He is not to be trusted.

People in Zimbabwe are starving but he will not do anything to help the people because of the land redistribution.

He is helping US President George W Bush in Iraq.

African voices: See where our panel live

Have you ever seen British peacekeepers in Africa, apart from Sierra Leone? The only reason they are in Sierra Leone is to cover up the weapon scandals.

If Mr Blair really wanted to help Africa he would send his troops to Darfur in Sudan and to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

If Mr Blair is to prove that his intentions are good he must remove all subsidies and only give aid to trusted people, without conditions.

For a very long time we have been hearing words about ending the subsidies and allowing Africa to trade fairly but no actions.

No actions, only words.

That's why I don't think that the Commission is going to help Africa.

If they treat Africa in the same way that they help Asian countries then maybe, just maybe Africa will recover.


Send your comments for Ousman using the form below.

Your comments:

Ousman, the proposed Commission by Tony Blair is not a deception at all, but great intentions for Mother Africa. However, this Commission will only do well once the African continent has proper democratic institutions, systems and structures in place. But as long as there continues to be corrupt and repressive governments hidden under the banner of democracy, the Commission will make little of a difference.

The Gambia is a bright example for Tony Blair. What Africa needs, before the implementation of such commissions is a total reformation of all its judiciary, legislative and executive institutions to meet standards of the civilized world. Without such a reformation, there will always be wars, rumours of wars and poverty, due to arrogance and incompetent leadership.
Binneh S Minteh, New York, USA

I agree with Ousman. African leaders should cover their faces in shame. For the western world to continue to persuade our leaders to have a genuine concern for the wellbeing of their own people is such a great shame. If there is no willingness on the part of the present African leaders (and the ones to come) to lay aside greed, selfishness and a wanton desire to amass wealth to the detriment of fellow citizens, then the story never changes.

We need to redefine and enforce good leadership in Africa as it has lost its meaning. It is very obvious that generations coming do not have better plans for the people either, or else Eyadema's son will not forcefully make himself a leader over the people. It is not about education, the educated ones are the major problem in Africa!

The present and coming generation of leaders should be taught that leadership seeks not its own gain rather it is service to the people. Is it not time to recognize the limitations and hypocrisies of the West and search for our own solutions?
Femi Awobokun, Abuja, Nigeria

Incredible what one reads these days! I come from a country which had every chance available. We were almost a success story in Africa! But because of one man's greed our people are impoverished, starving and Aids-ridden. Now, I am being told that this is because of Tony Blair! Listen fellow Africans.

We have a choice: Continue blaming the US or Europe and asking for handouts, whilst our leaders grow fat. Or we look at ourselves, change our leaders and shape our own future. I will no longer listen to people who use the race card or colonialism as an excuse for doing nothing.
Simon Jumbe, UK (Zimbabwean)

Ousman, I think you should check your facts. The text below comes from the website of DFID (the UK government development Ministry).
DFID Humanitarian Assistance Programmes DFID have contributed £71 million since the food crisis [in Zimbabwe] began in late 2001, for humanitarian assistance in the form of food aid, seeds and fertilizer, as well as supporting programmes to prevent HIV/Aids and care for those affected by the epidemic. Our assistance has been channelled through the United Nations agencies and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
Best wishes.
Tony Brennan, Paris, France

You should study your history! We did treat Africa the way we treated former colonial dominions in other continents. Do you think that India or Pakistan or China or others got a better deal? Africa is in the state it is in because it lacks the will to effect change - no more and no less.

Nobody is going to disadvantage themselves significantly to help you - accept that this is the nature of the world, and get to work! Make goods for your own markets and feed yourselves instead of growing cash crops. Stop chasing a western standard of living and aim for an eastern one first. Overcome your twin worst problems of corruption and lack of education - from these two points spring everything else.

And when a statesman does great things to aid you - why don't you support him instead of pre-determining the path of failure, and trying to paint him as the cause?
Iain Howe, Amsterdam, Netherlands (British expat)

I have to agree with Ousman Nije here about "only words but no actions". I think we Africans have suffered for far too long to even remember when the last day was when we were happy. As a result we are so immune to words because that is all we hear during every day life and no actions and results. In fact what ranks first in our everyday vocabulary and carries some weight and meaning is when the words becomes actions.
Riya Tingwa, Phoenix, AZ

Ousman, I agree with your opinions, emphatically. All of a sudden Blair comes up with this new commission that target to solve the ills of Africa. Come on, tell me something new! History is laden with case study after case study of past policies, economic reform programmes, structural reformations etc, that have been fast-fried on foreign fires, gullibly gobbled down by the naive Africans only to result in epidemic cases of diarrhoea!

The truth is that the problems of Africa are all too well documented and their causes carefully scrutinised. A commission which purports to delve into the continents' problems and offer solutions is a simple waste of time and resources and another case of history repeating itself.

More so it's an insult to the numerous dignified leaders and renounced academics in different states and organisations both on and off the Mother continent, past and present, who have clearly outlined the nature of the manacles that bind black Africa today.
Simbarashe Govere, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

While I can agree with Simbarashe Govere, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (above) that "the problems of Africa are all too well documented and their causes carefully scrutinised", I have to point out that many of these problems are also directly caused by poor leadership!

Evil, corrupt African thugs take the money sent to their countries to help their people, and instead divert the funds for their own enrichment. In addition, the propensity towards violence is a serious problem throughout Africa. Ethnic and religious differences should not be used as an excuse to massacre their own people, resulting in civil wars which impoverish these countries even more. How long has Congo been at war?

What about Rwanda, Burundi, Sudan, Somalia, etc., etc. The list goes on and on! Until Africans say no to violence and corruption, there will be no change, and no solutions to these self-inflicted problems!
Lydia Selwoo, Virginia, USA

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