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Showing posts from December, 2013

Nelson Mandela's funeral: Barack Obama's speech

To Graça Machel and the Mandela family; to President Zuma and members of the government; to heads of state and government, past and present; distinguished guests - it is a singular honor to be with you today, to celebrate a life unlike any other. To the people of South Africa - people of every race and walk of life - the world thanks you for sharing Nelson Mandela with us. His struggle was your struggle. His triumph was your triumph. Your dignity and hope found expression in his life, and your freedom, your democracy is his cherished legacy. It is hard to eulogize any man - to capture in words not just the facts and the dates that make a life, but the essential truth of a person - their private joys and sorrows; the quiet moments and unique qualities that illuminate someone’s soul. How much harder to do so for a giant of history, who moved a nation toward justice, and in the process moved billions around the world. Born during World War I, far from the corridors of power, a boy raised…

Goodbye Nelson Mandela and lessons for African leaders

If every African King, President, Prime Minister or whatever long titles that they bestow upon themselves just borrowed one Nelson Mandela trait, the continent could have been richer, greater and better than many places in the World. Nelson Mandela said about leadership, "It is better to lead and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership." Madiba never just spoke, he really lived his words. Upon his release, there were quite tensions between those that returned from exile and those that had kept the ANC going during apartheid. This is the tension that has led to the fall of the Mother of the Nation Winnie Madikizela-Mandela from grace.  Directly or indirectly this led to Oliver Tambo being the President, and as popular and as synonymous to the anti-aparthied struggle, this huge man accepted to become only a Vice President of the party. Nelson…

Thank you Nelson Mandela, Africa's brightest star

Never, never again shall man in this land be oppressed by another man- the journey that started some 30 years before 1994, suddenly had become reality. The darkest story of Africa's oppression was re-written. A black man was at the helm of South Africa.
Africa, and my Africa has had very few positive stories of leadership. Coup, corruption, violence and wars are a trademark of our leaders since the independence around 1940s.
Most African nations will be clocking 50 years of independence within the minus or plus of five years, but with very little to show for it.
Mineral rich Angola, DR Congo, Central African Republic, Seirra Leone, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Nigeria and many others but have very poor people with very rich ex-Leaders.
Many like Uganda, Guiniea, Swaziland, Gambia and Gabon are still struggling to think of how to get rid of their leaders who have overstayed their welcome.
But there is a story of Nelson Mandela. The boy of Qunu and man who became the greatest of its sta…

Searching for United Kingdoms Foreign Policy in Africa

Megaphone diplomacy does not work, try private talks with China. That seems to be the path that Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron has undertaken. He reaffirmed it in Beijing after touring the Jaguar Landrover plant which announced 100,000 new orders. Perhaps, its the billions China has, or it is something else. African Governments have for the past years been warned not to deal with China mainly as everyone grumbled of its human rights record. But today Britain looks set to get billions of dollars investments from the same China. Africans have been warned of exploitative nature of Sino-Africa relationship, but strange someone is keen to welcome investments in the UKs infrastructure in Nuclear and Rail especially the Hs2. At a recent Commonwealth meeting,  Canada and India clearly boycotted the meeting in protest against Sri Lanka's human rights record, and Mr. Cameron came out clearly as a champion when he travelled to Tamil areas to see for himself and the Tamils though…