CNNInternational interview with Nigeria'sPresident Obasanjo and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu onDemocracyand Security Issues


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How Black intellectuals let Africa down, andwestern stereoptypes complicate the rest
By CEDRICK NGALANDE

Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston,CLASSmagazine, USAfricaonline.comand The Black Business Journal

April 19, 2006: friend of mine once told me a funny old Sovietjoke. An American was trained rigorously for many years to spy on theUSSR. When the day finally came, he was secretly dropped in a remoteregion of the Soviet Union. He made his way to Moscow, andsatin restaurant to enjoy a warm meal. Suddenly, two men came in, tookhim outside the restaurant and told him that they were arresting himfor spying on Russia.

The man was deeply troubled. He had done everything he was trainedto do. What was it that he had done wrong? As the men were taking himto a waiting vehicle, he decided to ask them how they knew that hewasa spy. One of them looked at him, paused for a moment, and said:"Well, we don't have Black people in Russia".

This very funny story illustrates a very important point: Althoughthe man was highly trained and qualified in Russian espionage, therewas this minute but crucial information that he didn't know. Africanscould learn a lot from this joke.

Africa is a poor continent with huge problems. Addressing theseproblems requires vast amounts of money, which the continent does nothave. The rich Western world has those funds, and often and timesagain, it is Western experts who design solutions to these Africanproblems. The trouble with such an arrangement is that, due tocultural differences, most of these Western-based solutions areinevitably based on a stereotypical understanding of Africa. Thus,they are flowed and cannot work.

Unfortunately, the Black African intellectual who is in a betterposition to critique and direct these Western-oriented remedies failsto do so, and instead endorses each of them. This tendency hasrendered Africa unable to solve any of her problems. As a result,millions of dollars have been wasted on flawed projects,unnecessarily prolonging the misery Africans in some cases. IfAfrican intellectuals could think and act independently, half of thecontinent's problems would automatically go away.

About 15 years ago, the USAID sponsored an education project inMalawi. Numerous studies had indicated that the dropout rate of girlsfrom primary schools in the country was higher than that of boys.Upon seeing these statistics, USAID in Malawi believed that they knewwhat the problem was and how to solve it. To the Americans, the highdropping rate for girls was due to older men taking advantage of themand impregnating or marrying them. Older men were said to be givingmoney to poor girls in return for sexual favours. It was alsoconcluded that parents in Malawi favour young boys when it comes tosending children to school. In order to solve the problem, USAIDdecided to set up a project called Girls Attainment for BasicEducation (GABLE). Under this program, girls would get free primaryand secondary school education. They would also receive free booksand pencils and, in some cases, pocket money. This, the Americansargued, would keep 'sugar daddies' away. At the end of five years ofa well-funded and well-executed GABLE, the impact of the program wasminimal at best considering demographic growth.

While this failure could have been a great surprise to mostAmericans, such was not the case at all for Malawians. In truth, mostteenage girls were impregnated by boys from their own age group, notby adults as claimed by donors. Moreover, Malawian parents do notnecessarily favour girls when it comes to sending children to school,and this was surely not true in 1995. Regardless of gender, allchildren are encouraged to go to school, since it is a generallyshared belief that in such a poor country education is the onlyguarantee for future success. The basic premise of GABLE was,therefore, flawed. No matter how well the program was funded orexecuted, it simply could not work.

Two points ought to be noted here. First, while there was littleevidence to support their conclusion, Americans strongly believedthat young girls in Malawi dropped out of school because they wereimpregnated by grown-up men. One could argue that such a conclusionwas in large part based on the American perception of Africa.Americans tend to believe that in Black African culture older mentake advantage of much younger women. Thus, their understanding ofthe high drop out rate for girls in Malawi was in part based on thisstereotype, which in turn led them to design a flawed project.

Second, although Malawian intellectuals, most of who grew up inthe country and were therefore very familiar with its culture, knewthat the premise of GABLE was flawed, they kept their doubts private.Even worse than failing to take their concerns to the donors whodesigned GABLE, they gave a rosy picture of the project in theirinterviews with the media. This allowed GABLE to go ahead, until itsultimate failure.

If Malawian intellectuals had voiced their criticism of thisproject from the beginning, it could perhaps have been readjusted inorder to provide a more suitable solution to the problem that it wasintended to solve. Instead, one is only left to imagine the amount ofmoney that could have been saved, and what could have beenachieved.

The tendency by African intellectuals to endorse European views isfirmly rooted in the history of the continent. Through Euro-centrism,being an intellectual has been defined in a way that makes it asynonym with being pro-Western. Based on such a view, an intellectualis the one who supports British/European opinion, who thrives to belike a European, to look like one, even to marry one. Such thinkingsubjects the development of Africa to its submission to Europe, sinceevery action undertaken in the continent has to be weighed in termsof Western interests. Nevertheless, this is the philosophy that hasbeen widely taught in schools across Africa. Accustomed to endorsingEuropean views, African intellectuals have become inept at thinkingfor themselves. This has resulted in a form of 'dead'intellectualism, whereas African intellectuals, though highlyeducated, sit and wait for Westerners to put forth opinions so thatthey can endorse them in turn.

It is no secret that Europeans have invested a great deal ofeffort to cultivate this situation. This is obvious with Westernmedia. The coverage of Africa is almost exclusively dominated bynegative news, and this holds true for South Africa. Conversely,front page news are usually reserved for positive stories aboutEurope and the West in general; in the British media, these oftendeal with the royal family, footballers such as David Beckham, justto name a few. Such propaganda has helped shape Africanintellectualism.

Indeed, the propaganda has paid off, big time, and as a result itis not uncommon to see Africans looking down at themselves. Forinstance, when a case of domestic violence occurs in an Africancommunity, the first reaction from locals, including intellectuals,is often to blame "African culture". Currently in South Africa,former Vice President Jacob Zuma is on trial for rape. Many of thecountry's Black commentators have already explained this saga throughthe lens of a so-called 'negative' African culture that is anattribute of a male chauvinistic society. This is a clear endorsementof the perspective that comes from the European media. Similarly,corruption, election fraud, violence and other problems, though notexclusive to Africa, are attributed to the 'negativity' of Africanculture.

In truth, these same problems are found in Western societies.However, Westerners do not blame them on the negativity of theirculture. Hardly does a day go by in the United States of Americawithout news of yet another much older man kidnapping a 6-year oldgirl or boy, raping and eventually murdering her or him. One couldeasily imagine what would be said, had such events been happening inan African country.

Similarly, corruption is widespread &endash; and it does indeedoccur at a much larger scale &endash; in Western countries. As thesewords are being penned down, Prime Minister Howard of Australia isgoing through a corruption inquiry about his government. In theUnited States, a famous politician from Texas is currently on trialfor corruption. In Italy, incumbent Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconiis disputing election results, citing fraud. And, of course, theepisode of the 2000 U.S. presidential election that opposed Al Goreand George W. Bush is still fresh in everybody's mind. And the listgoes on.

The above attests to the fact that such problems are not exclusiveto Africa, and this point, African intellectuals ought to make clear.They need to understand that Africa cannot solve its problems withoutindependent thinkers of its own, and that their failure to critiqueWestern-inspired solutions has failed the continent. One illustrationis the prolonged fight against HIV/AIDS. In Malawi, for instance, thefirst condom advertisements were aired on MBC in the late 1980s.Broadcast at night after 10 p.m. at first, they were later aired tothe public at all hours of day and night. When the new governmentcame into office in 1994, marches against HIV/AIDS were organized, inwhich even the president participated. The only national broadcasterat the time would carry these events live.

This was followed with Tinkanena, a radio play intended for youngpeople aged between 8 and 15. This program combined explicitness withentertainment, and because of its popularity among young viewers itran for several years - it could still be running at the moment. Boththe marches and the radio broadcasts were organized on the premisethat HIV/AIDS spread in Africa because of the failure of people totalk about it and sex, and that the problem would go away ifdiscussion were encouraged.

Today in Malawi, however, the rate of HIV/AIDS infection remainshigh, and no study has shown a decline in that rate. Thus, somethingmust be wrong with a solution that simply advocates discussion tostop the spread of HIV/AIDS. The 8-15-year old youngsters who used tobe targeted by the radio play Tinkanena are now 20-27-year old grownups, which also currently represents the riskiest group. Did theyforget about HIV/AIDS after being bombarded by messages on the issuefor 12 years?

In reality, Malawians do talk about HIV/AIDS and sex in theirhomes. They already did before 1994, when the programs wereinitiated. Thus, simply discussing HIV/AIDS as a solution to fight itwas flawed from the beginning. The author of these lines remembersgoing to his native village for the holidays in 1994, and being toldthere about the dangers of HIV/AIDS and the methods of prevention byan old lady who had received no formal schooling. She had learntabout the disease at a local hospital and from the radio. And if sheknew what she was telling me, why wouldn't have the younger and moreeducated people of Malawi?

This is another illustration of how African intellectuals, bytheir silence, have let the continent down. They knew that Africanstalked about sexually transmitted diseases and sexual matters intheir families, but they failed to voice their criticism to theWestern experts who designed the campaigns mentioned above. Makingthemselves heard could perhaps have helped rectify those programs forthe better. Instead, 10 years have been lost preaching to the choir&endash; repeating slogans, organizing expensive concerts and otheractivities, supposedly to encourage people to talk aboutHIV/AIDS.

Another shortcoming in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa isattributable to the fact that it is almost exclusively directed atmen. The emphasis has been on encouraging African men to be faithfulto their wives, to use condoms, etc. Why are women often ignored insuch messages? Again, the answer to this question lies in thestereotypes that are held by the Westerners who design such programs.To them, the perverted, African man is responsible for the HIV/AIDSepidemic, as he is for all other problems that affect the continent:Only he can be unfaithful, and only he will refuse to use condoms.Westerners and African women may be guilty of a similar conduct,however.

Regarding African women, it is not uncommon to hear sexuallyactive young men in Malawi discuss how their girlfriends are annoyedby the use of condoms, which many see as an offense, a sign that theman does not trust them. Some girls have been said to go even as faras to claim that they were allergic to condoms. Wouldn't the fightagainst HIV/AIDS be more effective if women were targeted as well?Unfortunately, they have commonly been ignored, and this could havebeen prevented had African intellectuals been fully involved indesigning the programs.

In South Africa, the fight against HIV/AIDS has been hijacked byvarious people, each with a different agenda. Following the fall ofthe Apartheid, the white community realized that they could no longerget back to power through democracy. They, therefore, resorted tonegative portrayals of the new government, as if to say to the world:"We told you so, these people cannot rule as well as we would".Fortunately for them, they found a largely receptive Western worldthat was more than willing to listen to white people rather thanBlack Africans on the issues affecting South Africa &endash; and toecho their claims.

Out of such machinations came a story that accused President ThaboMbeki of denying the link between HIV and AIDS. To this day, no textor audio recording has ever been produced to verify such a statement.Nevertheless, this did not stop the South African, and eventually theEuropean media, from claiming that the words attributed to ThaboMbeki were the source of all HIV/AIDS-related problems in SouthAfrica. That this disease was already at a critical stage in thecountry before Thabo Mbeki came to power was conveniently ignored.Also ignored was the fact that his was the only government in thewhole world to increase HIV/AIDS spending more than threefold in adecade.

What really happened was that Mbeki formed a committee to lookinto the causes of the rapid spread of HIV/AIDS in Africa, based onan African perspective instead of a European one. Though this was thereasonable approach to adopt, some immediately attacked him claimingthat he was undermining the fight against the disease. They went asfar as to claim that because of Thabo Mbeki's actions Black SouthAfricans would stop taking messages about AIDS/HIV seriously.

The same happened early this month when Jacob Zuma claimed in hiscourt testimony that he had taken a shower after sex with his accuserin order to minimize the risk of contracting HIV. Though hisstatement was naïve to say the least, pundits have been quick toblame on it a rolling back of decades of advances in the fightagainst the disease.

The above calls for a couple of remarks. First, it is acontradiction to claim that such advances have been made in the fightagainst HIV/AIDS in South Africa while during the same period theauthors of such claims have consistently claimed that the governmentwas doing too little and that no progress was being made. Second, itis interesting to note that none of the commentators or so-calledexperts who have accused Mbeki and Zuma of confusing the Blackpopulation on HIV/AIDS is Black. Nevertheless, this does not seem toprevent them from knowing better about Black culture than Blacksthemselves. Are they so enlightened, or do they believe nativeAfricans to be so ignorant that they would give more credit to what apolitician says in his own defense in court than to the advice thatthey receive from their physicians?

As in the cases of Africa's other problems, the fight againstHIV/AIDS has been hijacked by people with various stereotypes aboutAfricans, resulting in the whole focus being misdirected. It is theduty of Black African intellectuals to help correct the course and tofocus on more successful strategies. Unfortunately, they remainsilent at the moment.

The case of Zimbabwe is another illustration of the apathy ofAfrican intellectuals. The history of Zimbabwe is well known. Duringthe colonial era, the British forcibly took land from the Blackmajority in Zimbabwe and gave it to the white minority &endash; theBritish settlers. The sovereign government of Zimbabwe now wants theland to be returned to its rightful owners, which Britain opposes onthe grounds that President Mugabe intends to redistribute it to his'cronies'. Mugabe has repeatedly denounced the British opposition tothe land being restituted. This has not stopped Britain from rallyingits allies and imposing various sanctions on Zimbabwe to sabotageZimbabwe's economy, causing shortages and increasing the mortalityrate of its population. The authors of these sanctions have usedtheir negative effects to try to prove the Zimbabwean governmentwrong, and to force it to submit to their will and interests.

Hopefully, African intellectuals will come to acknowledge that thesituation in Zimbabwe is less about human rights than an unendingpower struggle between Black natives on the one hand, and the whitesettlers and their Western kin on the other. Zimbabwe's economy maybe going through a crisis at the moment, but Mugabe's stance islikely to benefit his country, and perhaps the whole continent, inthe long run. Prosperity without a

guarantee to the people of a basic claim on their own country ispurely aesthetic and will quickly fade away. Black Americans foughtagainst segregation even though under such a system they werebelieved to be better off than Blacks in other parts of the world.They had to endure a number of temporary problems for long-termgains. Similarly, Malawians fought against the British, risking a warthat could make their lives miserable, but it was a necessary fight.And Black South Africans fought against the Apartheid, even thoughtheir conditions under that system could have been regarded by someas the best for Black people in Southern Africa. Liberty and thepursuit of happiness are worth fighting for, even when this meanstheir temporary forfeiture.

Should Black Africans control their own destiny? This is thequestion Dr Banda, former President of Malawi, answered in theaffirmative while he led the fight against colonialism. So did NelsonMandela answer during his fight against the Apartheid. And so isThabo Mbeki doing by handling the Zimbabwe crisis brilliantly. Onecan hardly over-emphasize the intelligent analysis made by Mbeki onthe Zimbabwe issue, in his weekly ANC email newsletter of December12-18, 2003 titled, We will resist the upside view of Africa. Thisarticle can still be seen on the ANC website.

Media reports that government has decided to invite Robert Mugabeand name a road after him are a very welcome development. But I willpredict that you will see many in the so called human rightsorganizations in Malawi who will be vehemently be opposed to thatvisit. If you ask them why they take that stand, they will not beable to give you a definite answer other than that the BBC says he isa bad man. They will simply parrot and regurgitate what they readsomewhere in the European press, believing that in repeating thoseEuropean sentiments, they are being intellectuals. Their reluctanceto analyze the complex nature of the Zimbabwe situation within thecontext of the country's history is a very worrying in deed. Andperhaps the most interesting aspect of these NGOs is their source offunding bringing us to the question, whose interest do the NGOs serve&endash; their donors or the masses? Most of these NGOs would notsurvive a day if they do not receive this donor money. One wonderswhether in this case they are free to think and act independently ofthose donors.

The Zimbabwe issue could easily have been solved if Black Africanintellectuals had chosen to critique the British position and topresent the truth. Unfortunately, they are once again busy endorsingthe European opinion. As such, some of their commentaries soundsimilar to articles taken straight from the BBC World News Website.Africa deserves better.

The European media is of course not too comfortable with progresson this continent. Everything has to be portrayed in a negativelight. Take South Africa, for instance. This is a country that hasbeen tremendous progress despite lot odds against it. South Africa isa success story. But you will not know this by reading the Europeanpress. Everything about South Africa, especially ANC, is trashed. Inevery major elections that have taken place after 1994, the Europeanpress, especially BBC, have predicted that the Black lead governmentwill loose its big majority and that the minority DA will win big.And with election results they have been proven wrong.

Africans need to start speaking out, calling out these wrong pressreports, and critiquing flawed western initiatives. This is the onlyway countries and continents grow. As Africans, we need to putforward our points of view. When you go China, you will find that theChinese media and their experts present news from a Chineseperspective. When you go to Europe you find the European mediapresenting news from a European perspective. The American mediacertainly presents the American perspective. But when you come toAfrica, everybody seems to sing the European perspective. Surprise,surprise! Is there an African perspective on anything at all?

Even up to now, most African media largely relies on Europeanmedia to provide them with news. The Reuters and the BBC, thoughthousand of miles away, are still major sources of information tomost Black African media even if the story is about a country nextdoor. How do we expect the South African media controlled by thelargely apartheid friendly media to report fairly on the ANC ledgovernment and any Black African government? Can the British mediawhose government is locked in a dispute with Zimbabwe give a fairassessment of the Zimbabwe crisis? These are difficult questions.

Unless African intellectuals stand up and start acting asintellectuals, this continent will never ever develop.

CedrickNgalande is a PhD student in Astronautics and Space Technology(Aerospace Engineering) at the University of SouthernCalifornia


DEMOCRACYWATCH: What Bush Should TellObasanjo.... By ChidoNwangwu (Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com): TodayMarch 29, 2006, at the White House, where Bush also met a few daysearlier with Liberia's Sirleaf, new face of Africa; welcomedNigeria's President retiredGeneral Olusegun Obasanjo, an old face of Africa, to thank him forregional support of the U.S.,discuss "strengthening democraticinstitutions, and the need to bring Charles Taylor to justice." (Bothpresidents are seen in this 2004 USAfrica news archive picture). Thevisit comes against the current background of the outrageous nonsenseparroted by hangers-on and political idol worshippers, thephilistines of Nigeria's politics who have since become the domesticand international canvassers of the indecent baloney that: Nigeria'sconstitution must be amended for one man, retired General OlusegunObasanjo, to govern for a 3rd 4-year term (12 years!). This they, shamelessly, claim is for Nigeria's survival. Worse, they addthat without Obasanjo, there will be no progress, criminality of thepolitical economy will abound and the polity will collapse. Goodheavens! Thesheer hubris that Nigeria can only move forward only by the "divine"and eternal governance of a 74-year former dictator Obasanjo issimply stupefying and immoral, to say the veryleast.  Hence, the enabled executors and conductors of thisfolly on behalf of Obasanjo only remind me of the infamous words ofthe 17th century  French monarch, Louis X1V (1638-1715) whoreportedly said "L'État, c'est moi"  meaning  "I amthe State." If only Obasanjo could drive us back to the 17th century;only there was no Nigeria, at the time.

In comparison, while Liberia's Madam President Sirleaf representsthe manifestation of the triumph of popular constitutional methodsand emerging institutional democratic values in Africa, retiredGeneral Obasanjo's imperious, know-it-all, emerging project for asit-tight  presidency in Nigeria remind us all of the 1970sold Africa where constitution-tweaking soldiers (his colleagues) andpower drunks  funnily believed their country's sun rose andshone at their hideous and idiosyncratic say-so. We won't go backthere; no; not now that we  have the great Nelson Mandelaas our icon, historical benchmark and reference point. Obasanjo makesit difficult for Obasanjo to be a statesman; no doubt, he's aregional leader.

As a specialist on US. and Africa public policy and culturalissues, here are things I'll suggest President Bush tell PresidentObasanjo, in a short, sweet but realistic summary: Fullcommentary here



SPECIAL EVENT: 2006 BEST OF AFRICA Awards FRIDAY May 5, andSATURDAY MAY 6, 2006, at the Hilton Towers Westchase in Houston.CLASS magazine, USAfrica and USAfricaonline.com (characterized by TheNew York Times as the largest and most influential African-owned,U.S-based multimedia networks), will hold the USAfrica 14thinternationally-acclaimed 2006 BEST OF AFRICA Awards annual dinner inhonor of African professionals and its annual Mothers' Day Honors onFRIDAY MAY 5, and SATURDAY MAY 6, 2006. It will be, as usual, aninvitation-only event. The Banquet and Honors event will hold onFriday May 5, 2006. The USAfrica forum on "Obasanjo, 2007 andNigeria's 3rd term politics: implications for Nigeria's future'USAfrica was founded in May 1992, in Houston, Texas by televisionbroadcaster and multimedia media executive Chido Nwangwu.

NOMINATEsome professionals and community builders with brief reasons theyshould be considered for an award. Contact USAfrica/CLASS eventmanagers Alverna Johnson, Mercy Okorie and Chuck Obazei at713-270-5500. or cellphone 832-45-CHIDO (24436) - E-mail:Class@Classmagazine.tv

DIPLOMACY Walter Carrington: African-American diplomat who put principles above self for Nigeria (USAfrica's founder Chido Nwangwu with Ambassador Carrington at the U.S. embassy, Nigeria)


 

Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu

 

 



How Obasanjo's self-succession charade at his Ota Farm has turned Nigeria to an 'Animal Farm.' By USAfricaonline.com contributor Prof. Mobolaji Aluko
LITERATURE:

Why
CHINUA ACHEBE, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century.
DEMOCRACY'S WARRIOR
Out of Africa. The cock that crows in the morning belongs to one household but his voice is the property of the neighborhood. -- Chinua Achebe, Anthills of the Savannah. An editor carries on his crusade against public corruption and press censorship in his native Nigeria and other African countries. By John Suval.
POLITICS and POLICY
African Union: Old wine in new skin?
Why Nigeria and Africa's leaders are leading us to nowhere. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe and a visiting fellow at the London School of Economics.
NEWS INVESTIGATION: The Marc Rich Oil Deals in Nigeria
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Obasanjo's Biafra and anti-Igbo battles running past 33 years. By Professor Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor of USAfricaonline.com, author of the highly-acclaimed African Literature in Defence of History: An Essay on Chinua Achebe
Obasanjo's obsession with Biafra versus facts of history. By Prof. Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No

Lindhs' Mandela comparison is foolish and scandalous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide.
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie
Obasanjo's own challenge is to imbibe "democratic spirit and practice," By Prof. Ibiyinka Solarin
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfrica The Newspaper editorial board member, attorney Ken Okorie. This commentary appears courtesy of our related web site, NigeriaCentral.com
Obasanjo's late wake to the Sharia crises, Court's decision and Nigeria's democracy. By Ken Okorie

Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS

Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa  
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials

ARINZE: Will he be the FIRST BLACK AFRICAN POPE? By Chido Nwangwu
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu

APPRECIATION
A young father writes his One year old son: "If only my heart had a voice...."



TRIBUTE
A KING FOR ALL TIMES: Why Martin Luther King's legacy and vision are relevant into 21st century.



Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu


Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. By Douglas Killam
DEMOCRACY DEBATE
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on CNN. It involved Nigeria's Information Minister Prof. Jerry Gana, Prof. Salih Booker and USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. Transcripts are available on the CNN International site.

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.

Tragedy of Ige's murder is its déjà vu for the Yoruba southwest and rest of Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
NEWS INSIGHT
CNN, Obasanjo and Nigeria's struggles with democracy.
Why Obasanjo's government should respect
CNN and Freedom of the press in Nigeria.
Jonas Savimbi, UNITA are "terrorists" in Africans' eyes despite Washington's "freedom fighter" toga for him. By SHANA WILLS


Lifestyle
Sex, Women and (Hu)Woman Rights. By Chika Unigwe

Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (above) in a hospital in the Kalafong township near Pretoria, South Africa, on October 26, 1999, brings a certain, frightening reality to the sweeping and devastating destruction of human beings who form the core of any definition of a country's future, its national security, actual and potential economic development and internal markets.
22 million Africans HIV-infected, ill with AIDS while African leaders ignore disaster-in-waiting

What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Africans reported dead in terrorist attack at WTC
September 11 terror and the ghost of things to come....
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Bola Ige's murder another danger signal for Nigeria's nascent democracy.

In a special report a few hours after the history-making nomination, USAfricaonline.com Founder and Publisher Chido Nwangwu places Powell within the trajectory of history and into his unfolding clout and relevance in an essay titled 'Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.'

AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS
Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
CONTINENTAL AGENDA
Bush's position on Africa is "ill-advised." The position stated by Republican presidential aspirant and Governor of Texas, George Bush where he said that "Africa will not be an area of priority" in his presidency has been questioned by USAfricaonline.com Publisher Chido Nwangwu. He added that Bush's "pre-election position was neither validated by the economic exchanges nor geo-strategic interests of our two continents."

These views were stated during an interview CNN's anchor Bernard Shaw and senior analyst Jeff Greenfield had with Mr. Nwangwu on Saturday November 18, 2000 during a special edition of 'Inside Politics 2000.'
Nwangwu, adviser to the Mayor of Houston (the 4th largest city in the U.S., and immigrant home to thousands of Africans) argued further that "the issues of the heritage interests of 35 million African-Americans in Africa, the volume and value of oil business between between the U.S and Nigeria and the horrendous AIDS crisis in Africa do not lend any basis for Governor Bush's ill-advised position which removes Africa from fair consideration" were he to be elected president.
By Al Johnson



Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
110 minutes with Hakeem Olajuwon
Nigerian stabbed to death in his bathroom in Houston.
Cheryl Mills' first class defense of Clinton and her detractors' game 
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers

Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are Keys to prosperity in Africa


Apple announces Titanium, "killer apps" and other ground-breaking products for 2001. iTunes makes a record 500,000 downloads.
Steve Jobs extends
digital magic

USAfrica The Newspaper voted the "Best Community Newspaper" in the 4th largest city in the U.S., Houston. It is in the Best of Houston 2001 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.