31 August 2007

Poor roads cost Cameroon cocoa farmers dear

By Tansa Musa

KUMBA, Cameroon (Reuters) - Farmer Lawrence Mekoli has just sold eight 60-kg sacks of cocoa and earned the equivalent of hundreds of dollars. But he is far from happy.

"My brother, how can I smile with what I've gone through," Mekoli said after striking the deal with a buyer at Kumba in South-West Province, the main cocoa zone in Cameroon, the world's fourth biggest grower of the commodity.

"This cocoa was delayed in my village for about three weeks," he said.

Mekoli's farm in Kumbe-Balondo village is only around 50 km (30 miles) from Kumba. But when heavy rains come and the roads become potholed quagmires, many private transporters refuse to drive here to collect cocoa for fear of damaging their vehicles.

Mekoli eventually found someone prepared to bring his cocoa to Kumba, but had to pay 2,000 CFA francs ($4.17) for each sack, way over the 500-1,000 CFA he usually pays in the dry season.

Worse, by the time he came, the market price had dropped.

"I called vehicle owners in Kumba to come and evacuate my cocoa to the market, but they told me they could not come because the bad state of the road will ruin their vehicles," he said.

"At the time, cocoa was selling in Kumba at 800-900 CFA francs per kg. Now that I have managed to bring my cocoa here today, the price has gone down to 720 CFA francs. Just see for yourself how much I've lost," he said.

Poor transport infrastructure is one of the greatest obstacles to trade in Africa, making it hard for poor farmers to get their produce to market in good enough condition to fetch the highest prices, and driving up overheads.

The World Bank said in June it would provide $201 million in loans and grants to improve road and rail links between Cameroon and neighboring Chad and Central African Republic -- countries it said had "some of the least functional traffic connections of any area in the world".

As the link to the Atlantic coast for both the other countries, Cameroon will get the lion's share of the World Bank cash. But such investments for major traffic arteries are unlikely to trickle down to the level of small roads linking farms and villages to provincial trading towns like Kumba.


"I've been to most remote villages where farmers produce a lot of cocoa, but can't evacuate them to market centers. Sometimes they get stuck in mud during evacuation and the beans become humid, attracting a low price," said retired banker Agnes Mambe, who is trying to help farmers here improve their lot.

The rainy season in the southwest lasts most of the year and keeps the lush landscape wet enough for cocoa trees.

But too much rain brings its own problems, creating the perfect environment for humidity-loving fungal diseases and making bean drying a struggle against the elements.

The European Union provided 2,500 drying ovens in 2001, helping eliminate the contamination of beans sometimes caused by locally made wood or coal-fired ovens, or by roadside drying.

Use of the ovens is important as the European Union -- which buys 86 percent of Cameroon's output, mainly for grinding in the Netherlands -- has set maximum levels for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), created by partial burning of carbon fuels.

But many farmers say there are not enough new ovens to go round, making it hard to deliver well-dried beans to buyers.

Repeated rains can also wash off pesticides and fungicides, forcing farmers to spray trees more frequently to keep black pod and other diseases at bay, Kumba Mayor Caven Nnoko Mbele said.

"The period of cocoa harvesting coincides with the period of intense rains," he said.

Apart from the weather, farmers complain they are also squeezed by buying agencies, to whom many growers are perpetually in debt for fertilizers and pesticides advanced on credit.

"The cocoa farmer ... is not a rich man, in spite of his labor," said Mayor Mbele. "Experience has clearly shown that if you desire to be a prosperous man in the cocoa business, you should rather be a cocoa buyer than a cocoa farmer."

Cameroonian striker ETO'O injured.

Eto'o out for two months
Cameroon and Barcelona Samuel Eto'o
Samuel Eto'o will be out of action for two months with a thigh injury
Cameroon and Barcelona striker Samuel Eto'o will be out of action for at least two months after suffering a partial tear of a tendon in his right thigh.

The 26-year-old suffered the injury just two minutes after coming on as a substitute in Wednesday's 5-0 victory over Italian champions Inter Milan in the Gamper Trophy in Barcelona.

The three-times African Player of the Year missed a large chunk of last season after injuring his right knee during a Champions League match against Werder Bremen in September 2006.

Doctors initially estimated the injury would keep him out for two to three months but after an operation it took him five months to return to action.

With Barcelona having signed France striker Thierry Henry in the close season and youth team players Giovani dos Santos and Bojan Krkic pushing for places in the first team squad alongside Lionel Messi, Ronaldinho and Eidur Gudjohnsen, the club has no shortage of attacking players at their disposal.

Barcelona host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday in their first league match at the Nou Camp this season.

29 August 2007

NELSON MANDELA,"the african monument"

Nelson Mandela statue is unveiled

Mr Mandela said it was an honour to be at the unveiling
Enlarge ImageA statue of former South African President Nelson Mandela has been unveiled in London.
Mr Mandela, 89, his wife Graca Machel, and Prime Minister Gordon Brown were among those at the unveiling in Parliament Square.
Mr Brown hailed Mr Mandela as the "greatest and most courageous leader of our generation".
The late South African anti-apartheid activist Donald Woods had the idea for the 9ft-high (2.7m) bronze statue.
Talking to crowds who gathered for the unveiling, Mr Mandela said: "Though this statue is of one man, it should in actual fact symbolise all of those who have resisted oppression, especially in my country."
Happier lives
Lord Richard Attenborough, trustee of the Mandela Statue Fund, introduced Mr Mandela at the unveiling and spoke of Mr Woods's "bravery".

Large crowds gathered in Parliament Square for the statue unveiling
"He fled his country with his wife and five children and came here as a refugee, thrown out by the apartheid system," said Lord Attenborough.
"He would have given anything to have been here today because it was his concept."
Wendy Woods, wife of the late Donald Woods, said: "This statue will remind the world of the human qualities that Mr Mandela has.
"These are qualities which have helped South Africa put paid to its past and helped us on our first step towards a future where all people can flourish and lead happier lives."
Dogged by arguments
The statue had been dogged by arguments over where it should go as well as its artistic merit.
Mayor of London Ken Livingstone, who was also at the ceremony, had wanted it to stand on the north side of Trafalgar Square.
However, in 2005 Westminster Council refused permission saying it would clutter the space needed for large events.
It was finally agreed the statue should face the Houses of Parliament, and stand alongside images of other great leaders such as Winston Churchill, Benjamin Disraeli and Abraham Lincoln.
"Long after we are forgotten, you will be remembered for having taught the world one amazing truth," said Mr Livingstone.
"That you can achieve justice without vengeance. I honour you and London honours you."

27 August 2007

some relax!!!!!!!!!!

I finished the weekend so tired that i needed some body and soul refreshing and i am pretty sure i'm not alone in this state.So i take this opportunity to ask you all to sitback and relax to some african music sequence or movie from this good link i copied the other day(it's down in my top links).hope it's worthwhile;Enjoy yourselves!

25 August 2007


Is the act of giving good or baneful? Is it the act itself or the ideas behind it, the dependance it breeds? What about all the aid Africa is receiving from outside? Does it do more harm or good? Hold that thought.

You've seen Hotel Rwanda, Catch A Fire, Blood Diamond....and another African movie similar to these three is out. It's called BAMAKO and addresses just the issue of how responsible the WTO and IMF are responsible for Africa's economic quagmire... click on hypertext and check it out.(by african rainaisance)


Specifically, we ask our country to honor the agreement it made and signed at the 2002 Monterrey Conference and again at the 2002 Johannesburg Summit to make concrete efforts towards giving 0.7% of our national income in aid to poor countries.

The United Nations estimates that when all 22 countries that signed the agreement meet the 0.7% goal, the resulting $195 billion each year will be enough to effectively end hunger and extreme poverty in the world.

We commend the countries that have already reached the 0.7% goal: Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden.

We also commend the countries that have set up a schedule to meet the 0.7% goal and encourage them in their efforts to reach it as soon as possible: Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.

We respectfully ask the six remaining countries to honor their agreement and set up a schedule to reach the 0.7% goal: Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, and the United States.

Thank you.

2006 International Aid Donated
COUNTRY Aid as % of income How close to the
0.7% goal
Sweden 1.03 Already reached goal
Luxembourg 0.89 Already reached goal
Norway 0.89 Already reached goal
Netherlands 0.81 Already reached goal
Denmark 0.80 Already reached goal
Ireland 0.53 Scheduled for 2012
United Kingdom 0.52 Scheduled for 2013
Belgium 0.50 Scheduled for 2010
Austria 0.48 Scheduled for 2015
France 0.47 Scheduled for 2012
Switzerland 0.39 No schedule yet
Finland 0.39 Scheduled for 2010
Germany 0.36 Scheduled for 2014
Spain 0.32 Scheduled for 2012
Canada 0.30 No schedule yet
Australia 0.30 No schedule yet
New Zealand 0.27 No schedule yet
Japan 0.25 No schedule yet
Portugal 0.21 Scheduled for 2015
Italy 0.20 Scheduled for 2015
United States 0.17 No schedule yet
Greece 0.16 Scheduled for 2015

Stop alla fame!

In particolare chiediamo al nostro Paese di onorare l’accordo negoziato e firmato alla Conferenza di Monterrey nel 2002 e nuovamente sottoscritto in occasione del Vertice di Joannesburg. Tale accordo prevede che venga fatto ogni sforzo per destinare lo 0,7% del Pil in sostegno ai Paesi poveri.

Le Nazioni Unite stimano che, quando tutti i 22 Paesi signatari avranno raggiunto il target dello 0,7%, i 195 miliadi di dollari ottenuti ogni anno saranno sufficienti per debellare la fame e la povertà estrema nel mondo.

Lodiamo le nazioni che hanno già raggiunto l’obiettivo dello 0,7%: Danimarca, Lussemburgo, Paesi Bassi, Norvegia e Svezia.

Plaudiamo inoltre ai Paesi che hanno stabilito un programma per raggiungere lo 0,7% e li esortiamo a impegnarsi per conseguire l'obiettivo al più presto: Austria, Belgio, Finlandia, Francia, Germania, Grecia, Irlanda, Italia, Portogallo, Spagna e Regno Unito.

Rispettosamente chiediamo che le 6 nazioni rimanenti onorino l’accordo preso e fissino un calendario per il raggiungimento del target dello 0,7%: Australia, Canada, Giappone, Nuova Zelanda, Svizzera e Stati Uniti.


Aiuti umanitari donati nel 2006
NAZIONE Aiuti in % del reddito Posizione rispetto al raggiungimento dell’obiettivo dello 0,7%
Svezia 1,03 Obiettivo raggiunto
Lussemburgo 0,89 Obiettivo raggiunto
Norvegia 0,89 Obiettivo raggiunto
Paesi Bassi 0,81 Obiettivo raggiunto
Danimarca 0,80 Obiettivo raggiunto
Irlanda 0,53 In programma per il 2012
Regno Unito 0,52 In programma per il 2013
Belgio 0,50 In programma per il 2010
Austria 0,48 In programma per il 2015
Francia 0,47 In programma per il 2012
Svizzera 0,39 Non ancora definito
Finlandia 0,39 In programma per il 2010
Germania 0,36 In programma per il 2014
Spagna 0,32 In programma per il 2012
Canada 0,30 Non ancora definito
Australia 0,30 Non ancora definito
Nuova Zelanda 0,27 Non ancora definito
Giappone 0,25 Non ancora definito
Portogallo 0,21 In programma per il 2015
Italia 0,20 In programma per il 2015
Stati Uniti 0,17 Non ancora definito
Grecia 0,16 In programma per il 2015

23 August 2007


Hi,i jumped unto this article and decide to share with everyone,hoping you'll find it worthwile reading and commenting.

I very much believe there is a huge gap in the supply of risk capital for social enterprises. I am talking about longer-term, lower-interest, capital provided by investors who understand social enterprises and who are patient enough to allow an organization to use their financing to grow and take significant risks. Tom Friedman wrote an article a few weeks ago which highlighted just this need, specifically in Africa. I have been learning of and meeting with a few East African investors lately, but very few are considering themselves as patient capital investors. If you are a social financer looking for the sweet spot in terms of development potential- here is is.
Friedman opened by describing his experience in a Tanzanian used clothing market and then went on to write:Africa needs many things, but most of all it needs capitalists who can start and run legal companies. More Bill Gateses, fewer foundations. People grow out of poverty when they create small businesses that employ their neighbors. Nothing else lasts.Whenever you read about capital flowing into Africa, though, it tends to be from big lenders like the World Bank, which have very strict criteria and work on big projects, or from microfinanciers, giving out $50 to a woman to buy a sewing machine. Microfinance has a role, but many people don’t want the pressure of being an entrepreneur. They want the stability and prosperity of a job created by capitalist risk takers and innovators. See India.In some ways what Africa needs most today is more "patient" capital to spur its would-be capitalists. Patient capital has all the discipline of venture capital — demanding a return, and therefore rigor in how it is deployed — but expecting a return that is more in the 5 to 10 percent range, rather than the 35 percent that venture capitalists look for, and with a longer payback period.A good example of what happens when you combine patient capital, talent and innovation in Africa is the Kenyan company Advanced Bio-Extracts (ABE), headed by Patrick Henfrey. He and his partners put together a fascinating group of both white and black African farmers and scientists to build the first company in Africa to cultivate the green leafy plant artemisia, often called sweet wormwood, and transform it into pharmaceutical grade artemisinin — a botanical extract that is the key ingredient in a new generation of low-cost, effective malaria treatments commonly known as artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs). Malaria still kills nearly one million people in Africa every year, more than H.I.V.-AIDS.
From its factory outside Nairobi, ABE is not only processing the feedstock for the drug, but has also contracted with 7,000 farmers, most with small farms, to grow artemisia in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The crop gives farmers four times the financial yield of corn.
ABE is one of Acumen's investments and a good example of the type of investments we are searching for here in East Africa. It was great that Friedman recognized the potential for development in Africa and highlighted one promising strategy. You can find the Friedman article quoted above by clicking here to read the New York Times (subscription required to read).
creato da Keely Stevenson
classificato come
Keely Stevenson
Patient Capital
Acumen Fund

22 August 2007

"mama africa"

It's so beautiful this belly,isn't it?

uomo di colore

Caro fratello bianco,
quando sono nato, er nero,
quando sono cresciuto, ero nero,
quando sono al sole, sono nero,
quando morirò, sarò nero.
Mentre tu, uomo bianco,
quando sei nato, eri rosa,
quando sei cresciuto, eri bianco,
quando hai freddo, sei blu,
quando hai paura sei verde,
quando sei malato, sei giallo,

quando prendi sole,vuoi diventare nero,
quando morirai sarai grigio.
Allora, di noi due,
chi è l' uomo di colore?(by cocchina10)

20 August 2007

"AFRICA"- A great problematic word.

Most people (including myself) frequently use the word Africa, not only for the continent, but also as a common denominator for 50 countries, 720 million people and 1000 languages. We say "Africa" when we don't remember the names of the countries and many people wrongfully believe there is a common language called "African". We also use terms like "African culture", "African music" or "African religion" even though there is no single culture, music or religion for all of the countries/regions. A first step to understanding "Africa" is to acknowledge that it consists of a huge number of religions, tribes and groups of people each with a very different history.
Quite describing for our view on Africa and it is history, "Africa" is not even an African word. The origin of the word is still a little uncertain, but it is credible to see a connection from Latin (Africa = sunny) and Greek (Aphrike = not cold). The Romans were the first to use the name. For them it covered Tunisia and the most northern parts of Algeria and Libya. They could also have been inspired to the name from some of the first people they met on the continenent: The Afri, which were a berber tribe in the Carthage area. Egypt was already known territory, but further South was unknown land. Around 2,000 years ago "Aethiopia" seems to have been used to describe the land found south of Sahara, but Europeans later used "Africa" to describe the entire continent. This is why we began to see Africa one land with only one kind of people. Strangely enough it changed from the land of sunshine and warmth to "the dark continent". The story is much more complex than that: a more fulfilling explanation can be found in the excellent book "Wonders of the African World" by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr, which is also my source (see "shop now" box elsewhere on this page).
It has always been comfortable and easy for Westerners to see Africa as a whole. Africa used to be somewhere far away with dark skinned people, having customs so different from our own: A land of fairytales or sometimes horror. Today we are a bit wiser, but it still seems like an impossible task to really understand the amounts and numbers we are dealing with in Africa... the cultural diversities – and the social disparities.
The African continent is so vast, varied and rich in every way. It is fantastic and completely incomprehensible. Nothing compares to all this and yet we try to make it all fit into a small word of 6 letters. It is almost an insult! It is Impossible! No word can hold so much ...but in some way it does.
When used to generalise and simplify the word can be harmful, but most people on the continent proudly describes themselves as Africans. Sometimes the African identity is even stronger than the actual nationality. Historically this could be due to the fact that most nations and borders in Africa are a European-colonial invention. Before colonialism there were around 10,000 kingdoms, but no countries called "Kenya", "Ghana", "South Africa" or "Ivory Coast". Independence gave birth to the nations we know today, but also to a pan-African feeling. Generalising again, I risk saying that Africans all over the world calls each other "brothers and sisters". Obviously the colonial exploitation had given the Africans some kind of a common history. But long before any white man sat foot in Africa the tribes and people had already been mixed together and switched homelands several times. Obviously there ARE similarities between tribes and people in Africa.
The name of the rose
The word might have a shady history, but it seems we have agreed to use it anyway. I love the word "Africa" and everything it carries along. In some strange way the small word has come to fully describe my passion - something that has actually changed my life. I guess only people who share my passion will understand the word in the same way. I know I am not the only "Africa aficionado". Is there any other place in the world that attracts and spellbinds people in the same way? Maybe it is the magic, juju, voodoo or whatever name we give it. For me it is probably the fantastic combination of the light, the heat, the brutal history, the rich nature, the rhythms of life and music, the strength and openness in people, the future possibilites - and not least the most beautiful and graceful women on earth.
I maybe closer attached to some African countries than others, but it is still about "Africa" and not a single nation. In spite of the differences I hold on to the word. But let's use it with caution, not to forget that Africa, it's countries, people and cultures all deserve proper attention for the details that makes each one unique.

positive africa,what is africa?

The second largest continent in the world has an exotic ring to many people, but Africa is much more than wildlife and breathtaking nature. More important: Africa is much more than the images of famine and war we often see in the international media. Africa is not one country with a uniform culture. Africa is very rich diversity on culture, traditions, languages, history and ideas. Africa has much to offer to those who are ready to listen.
What is Africa?
A few thoughts to begin with...
Africa is the second largest continent in the world. The area of Africa can contain all of USA, China, India, New Zealand, Europe and a bit more. Around 748 million people live in Africa. That is only a bit more than live in Europe.
Africa is the cradle of human evolution. Contrary to what many believe, Africa has a history going much further back than the age of colonisation. Actually the African history goes further back than anywhere else in the world. Traces of humans in Eastern and Southern Africa are the oldest in the world. In 1988 scientific Mitochondria-research proved that every living human being origins from the same woman in Africa about 200.000 years ago!
Africa is the cradle of civilisation. Africa has an old and rich cultural heritage including very old civilisations in Egypt and Nubia, the Great Zimbabwe, Ashante kingdoms, Dogon people and other ancient tribes. Culture, civilisation and large cities were in Africa before ANY kind of foreign influence. Africa had the first university in the world.
Africa had religions long before Christianity and Islam came to the continent. The original religions are in many aspects social and cultural arrangements. Some rituals are very gentle or even poetic, and far less "primitive" than the dominating world religions.
Africa and many of its people has suffered a lot through times and still does in some places. The African people are strong and proud.
Africa offers many of the most beautiful places in the world. Including an overwhelming biodiversity of nature and animal life.
Africa consists of more than 50 different countries, with more than 1,500 different languages (not counting dialects). There are just as many different cultures.
Africa is far more than famine, diseases and war. Africa is a resource, not "a problem". We in the West and North are very busy exporting our ideas to Africa. We often forget to listen and learn.

18 August 2007

mustard seed charity center

I am publishing this charity in Cameroon to anyone who wishes to help us extend our work in africa.As i always say,that with very little we could do so much in Africa,if only we wish to!Hope to hear from you.



SECTION I – Executive Summary

Company’s Profile:
In conformity with law No 90-53 of 19th December 1990 relating to freedom of Associations in the Republic of Cameroon, Mustard Seed Charity Centre was born on the 14th of March 2007. The Common Initiative Group is based in Kumba and it is a Christian faith based association. It carries out its activities throughout Cameroon and beyond. Our goal is geared towards eliminating poverty and injustice by strengthening spiritual values and supporting innovative and creative initiatives for sustainable development. Our contact address is:
Mustard Seed Charity Centre (C.I.G)
P.O. Box 455
Kumba – Meme Division
S.west Province,Cameroon.
Account n°:0551016780011D
Bank:CCC(community Credit Company P.l.c)
E-mail: mustardseedcharitycentre@yahoo.com
Logo: A Budding Seed
In its maiden activities, the Common Initiative Group (C.I.G) seeks to set up a Day Care Centre in Kumba. By so doing, we will be providing services to the community which enhances development in the society. The Day Care will generate income into the group as well as provide job opportunities for many in and around Kumba. The CIG and the community will both benefit from the Day Care.

17 August 2007


Hello felix,please post our infos in your blog,stay well and peace to all,sarah ebong,coordinator Mustard seed charity center,kumba Cameroon.

In conformity with law No 90-53 of 19th December 1990 relating to freedom of Associations in the Republic of Cameroon, Mustard Seed Charity Centre was born on the 14th of March 2007. The Common Initiative Group is based in Kumba and it is a Christian faith based association. It carries out its activities throughout Cameroon and beyond. Our goal is geared towards eliminating poverty and injustice by strengthening spiritual values and supporting innovative and creative initiatives for sustainable development. Our contact address is:

Mustard Seed Charity Centre (C.I.G)
P.O. Box 455
Kumba – Meme Division
S.west Province,Cameroon.
Account n°:0551016780011D
Bank:CCC(community Credit Company P.l.c)
E-mail: mustardseedcharitycentre@yahoo.com
Logo: A Budding Seed

In its maiden activities, the Common Initiative Group (C.I.G) seeks to set up a Day Care Centre in Kumba. By so doing, we will be providing services to the community which enhances development in the society. The Day Care will generate income to sustain it's activities as well as provide job opportunities for many in and around Kumba as time goes by. The CIG and the community will both benefit from this project,likewise the other projects in our basket.

10 August 2007



Rich Africa, poor Africans

In a century experiencing huge technological advancements and globalisation Africa is still struggling against poverty, wars, corruption, in a word, against underdevelopment. Responsibility for all these resides on national governments and on the International Community.
27 November 2006 - Peter Mafany Tome
Source: Africafiles

The idea that Africa is a continent with plenty of natural resources is unarguable. Yet people in Africa are characterized and battered by endemic hunger, genocides, wars, corruption, massive underdevelopment and all sorts of untold sufferings. Judging this beautiful continent from its natural resources, one would expect to see people cruising in an age of high mass consumption. Instead, Africa is full of people still struggling with their take-off process. Much of the population lies in poverty, hopelessness and underdevelopment that have remained a constant even in a 21st century experiencing huge technological advancements and globalization.

Under dictatorship,as under democracy, Africans have failed to tap their natural resources for the benefit of the general public. African governments have failed to come up with constructive reform powerful enough to shape a better and prosperous future for Africans. The dormant international community cannot be left out of the responsibility for Africa's underdevelopment and suffering. Despite all the beautiful tagged roadmaps, all development plans that have been drawn to drag Africa out of its net of poverty have failed. They have turned out to be sterile plans both in conception and implementation.

Several financial institutions have provided ideas, studies and all sort of recommendations to African governments to find the right way toward development. These institutions include the World Bank, IFC. Economic Commission for Africa, ECOWAS. Sadacc, and the AU. These ideas have not worked because they were not focused on the African concept of development but they had naturally an inherently western approach in themselves.

These unconstructive and sometimes unrealistic plans, are coupled with the political decisions made by African leaders to cover the interests of western multinational corporations, which has kept Africans in desperate poverty. Some international institutions have deceived many African governments to privatize their most important resources with the promise that it would increase growth and spread prosperity. An example of this could be observed in Cameroon where the national airlines company (Camair), the national electricity company (Sonel) and the national water company (Snec), just to mention some examples, have been privatized. This move has not been working till now so that increasing taxes on the working class has seemed to be the solution.

Natural Resources are important aspects of a nation's power. Africa as a whole has a vast amount of resources and these can allow this continent to be a major force in world affairs if they are well utilized. African leaders are still unaware that the natural resources of each African state are a source of power for its international relations. If the question is whether they are aware of this, then the answer is that their corruptive tendencies override their national interests of which they are sworn to uphold. Rather than exploit their natural resources to solve their problems, African leaders have opted for foreign aid that have plunged the continent in abhorrent debts in the long run. Africa is a continent that contains the majority of natural resources compared with other continents. Recent and continuing civil wars in Africa, notably, Sierra Leone, Angola, Congo, Sudan, Liberia,have been intensified because of its natural resources basically gold and diamonds.

Post colonial Africa is loaded with natural resources which can allow Africans to solve most of the African crises of poverty and famine from themselves without resorting to foreign aid, foreign grants and continued foreign loans.
On the other hand, Sub-Saharan Africa, one of the poorest place on earth, is a most profitable investment destination. It offers, according to the World Bank's 2003 Global Development Finance report, "the highest returns on foreign direct investment of any region in the world". Africa is poor because its investors and its creditors are so unspeakably rich. Western leaders are partly responsible for perpetrating this. I have been tempted to declare these leaders like those who constitute the G8 and some African leaders as a noose around our necks because the lethal economic policies that have already taken so many lives, through fro example lack of medicine, clean water, and for lack of justice.

According to Naomi Klein, in her article titled "Africa's Natural Resource Wealth Should Benefit Africans", about 70% of Nigerians still survive with less than $1 a day while Shell is still making super profits. Equatorial Guinea, which has a major oil deal with Exxon Mobil, "got to keep a mere 12% of the oil revenues in the first year of its contract", according to a report on the CBS news programme 60 Minutes -- a share so low it would have been scandalous even at the height of colonial oil pillage.

After analyzing the appendix below, listing resources country by country, it is possible that African people are still anguished in the face of this cornucopia of natural resources? This is unjustifiable. Why do Africans need western ideological help, often alien to them, to move ahead? Where is an African plan for development done by Africans and for Africans? It is time to adopt new development concepts and strategies with an African flavour (Abudu, 2002)
If the international community through big organs like the World Bank is interested in helping, why it doesn't try an alternative approach like that proposed by Teke Ngomba who says that both corruption and aid- conditionalities undermine the fight against poverty hence a mediated or negotiated approach is needed in Africa's case to assuage poverty

The idea that Africa is a victim of corruption, bad governance, debilitating diseases like AIDS and malaria is not new. It is time to get beyond from the constant dispute over the causes and effects of Africa's poverty. It is time to propose relevant and sustainable development programs that have Africans as the focal point. Poverty remains without doubt the greatest challenge facing African countries. The inability by most Africans to bridge the gap between availability and affordable has resonated to all corners of the planet. Africa needs policies and reforms that can lead to sustainable growth.

The road to progress and reduction of poverty must include measures that can guarantee, secure and maintain more economic, political, individual and social freedom. Sustainable economic policies or reforms must include transparent privatization, trade liberalization, lower taxes and also reduced government intervention, All forms of anti-trade or anti-business distorting policies should be eased, in an end to address the problem of African poverty honestly and practically. Without economic freedom, African countries will hardly achieve poverty reduction.

A prosperous economy cannot exist without this freedom and control over GDP, which is the case with most African nations. Despite the obvious benefits of economic freedom, too many African governments are implementing unsound, even disastrous policies that have deterred both foreign and local investment. In the face of this tight economic atmosphere, it is difficult for Africa to integrate the market economy. The repressive economic environment has led to less foreign and local investment.

Addressing the issue of local investment as a desideratum for economic prosperity, I think that apart from foreign multilateralism, Africans themselves have not invested enough in their countries. The rate of capital flight in Africa is more than any other continent. How can the continent develop when Africans are unwilling to invest their own money in their own continent? This inertia coupled with African governments insistence on A stultifying aND NOT conducive economic environment will only lead to more economic suffering. Africa needs a more liberal economic system /environment that will favor both foreign and local investment.

African leaders made significant commitments to transparent and accountable governance with the creation of the African Union (AU) and the adoption of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), a comprehensive economic and political reform program. NEPAD included a significant commitment to good governance, peace, security and democracy as prerequisites for effective economic development. All these commitments have not been respected. African leaders have continued to embezzle public funds to the detriment of their national economies. It is time for the implementation and adherence to these cannons prescribed by the NEPAD and AU. Good governance equals transparency, transparency equals accountability equals economic growth for Africa.

Good governance = Transparency = Accountability = Economic growth
Inherent in this model is that good governance is a linchpin to Africa's poverty struggle. Of course if Africa has to experience good governance, an emergence of new leadership is needed to turn around a continent that many associate with poverty, wars, corruption and AIDS/HIV pandemic. Old style African leadership has to give way to new leaders.

Beyond sustainable economic reforms, more local investment, good governance and legal measures, I think the inculcation of a culture of personal and moral responsibility that recognizes the damage done to the common good by corruption, has to be an indispensable part in Africans. Africans should recognize they can prosper and uphold this responsibility. Poverty of the mind must not prevail among Africans. Africans themselves must live with the conviction that they can grow like, India, New Zealand or Australia all enjoying substantial per capita income after DE-colonizisation from Britain. This solution is an inward option to growth.

It is time for rulers like Paull Biya, who have spent so many years in power without achieving any significant progress for their countries, to honourably give way to a brighter perspective. The continent needs a new breed of leaders (not western puppets) who can recognize Africa's economic potential and make use of it. If some steps toward progress are not made soon, then Africans will become more and more a disillusioned population as a consequence of the disjuncture between availability and affordability.

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Rick Della Ratta and Jazz For Peace Concert in Ferrara ,Italy

We are proud to announce this forthcoming event organised by our association,PADEF(peace and development forum);
Famous jazz artist Rick Della Ratta and Jazz For Peace will be playing at the Ferrara jazz club"Torrione",on the 19th of october 2007 as a fundraising event for a cameroonian common initiative group called "MUSTARD SEED CHARITY CENTER".You are all welcome to partecipate in favour of this association in person or by donation.peace!!!
Click HERE to see Rick DellaRatta’s NBC TELEVISION appearance on May 25th, 2007 to help raise Funds, Publicity and Awareness for The Making A Difference Foundation!