[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Languages
Last Updated: Monday, 21 March 2005, 12:01 GMT
Commission for Africa: Iqbal Jhazbhay
BBC News website asked Africans living on the continent for their thoughts on the UK-led Commission for Africa's final report.

Godwin
Godwin Emejuobi:
Port Harcourt, Nigeria

Kasozi
Kasozi Lubega:
Kampala, Uganda

Ousman
Ousman Njie:
Cairo, Egypt

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

Yared
Yared Mussie:
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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

Iqbal Jhazbhay

I believe this new and bold attempt to mobilise and lobby for Africa's diverse and spectacular people will be remembered warmly.

MEET THE PANEL
Iqbal Jhazbhay (Pretoria, South Africa)
Name: Iqbal Dawood Jhazbhay
Age: 41
Lives: Pretoria, South Africa
Occupation: Community activist and Senior Lecturer, University of South Africa
Born: Durban, South Africa
Religion: Islam with strong focus on spirituality
In 10 words or less: Activist, loves swimming, Zikr meditation and country walks with family

Despite many limitations, some understandable and some unsustainable, the Commission for Africa report should be welcomed and applauded by Africans and the world.

A serious engagement with the report is suggested for all those who really care and for their own good want to share with Africa.

I am particularly saddened that the Commission did not see the urgency for action in promoting peace and security - specifically in Western Sahara and Somaliland.

Recommendations from the commissions on the last two unsettled questions of African self-determination would have gone a long way to give hope and trust to Western Saharans and Somalilanders all over the world.

Clearly the commissioners chose not to highlight specific political issues, such as Somaliland, in an attempt to unite the continent.

Iqbal Jhazbhay (Pretoria, South Africa)
I am hopeful that this Commission can focus on solving the most neglected conflict of Western Sahara

Instead, they focused on the larger picture - strategic issues such as peace, education, health, trade, accountability, aid and debt.

The prime challenge, for the Commission and all caring African activists, is to ensure that the report's proposed independent monitoring system is established to give teeth to all these proposals.

I am happy the Commission for Africa's recommendations underline an approach of African and world responsibility for the African continent and its people.

Today world peace and security is too closely interwoven for us to neglect any continent in the world.

African voices: See where our panel live

The world's positive response to the Asian tsunami disaster is concrete evidence that the world does and can care, when it has the will to do so.

South African President Mbeki's recent idea that African pension funds be pooled together to source the funding for Africa's development initiatives, such as Africa's New Partnership for Africa's Development (Nepad), need authoritative attention.

I hope the Commission will consider this idea.

Are Africans and world leaders listening?

Are they willing to primarily invest hard-earned African pension funds in African economies?

Time will tell.


Your comments:

Thank you Iqbal for raising such serious issue which is central not only to Africa but also to the international community as a whole.
M Jilo, Toronto, Canada

I agree with Mr Jhazbhay. It is the same old stories with Africans shying away from the truth. What Africa needs is peace, security, good governance and performance matters more than anything. Somaliland made their own peace without the benefit of international mediators and conflict resolution experts. Of course, they still face extraordinary problems.

The Somaliland women and children are asking the Commission and African leaders why they keep on ignoring the progress that the people of Somaliland achieved and the important question is in Africa: What does it take to be a country? I hope the Commission can give an answer to those people without shying away.
Mohamed Aden, London, UK

Mr Jhazbhay has a point in his article. As a Somalilander I personally believe that the AU has not lived up its values yet. To my surprise the many member states of the Union have yet achieved what Somaliland has achieved for the past 15 years. We have still got a long way to go as Africans and it's about time that African leaders stopped being hypocrites and acted on specific developments around the continent and encourage peace.
Ali Mohammed, Stockholm, Sweden

I agree with Iqbal. In today's current climate we need world peace and security. Africa particularly needs peace and security more than any other continent in the world. Western Sahara and Somaliland are key countries that have struggled in their own way to be where they are now against all odds. The rest of Africa should learn a lesson from them.

The children of these countries will ask serious questions on why the African Commission ignored their progress. I hope in 50 years time the Commission can seriously answer that question without hiding behind any mask be it politics or ignorance. Thank you Iqbal for raising such serious issue which is central not only to Africa but also to the international community as a whole.
Lulu Farah, London, UK

More aid and improved governance are essential for progress but this report is in danger of overstating their importance. Calls for fairer decisions from international institutions such as the World Bank must not be ignored.
Francis Bacon, London




RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites



FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific