Special to USAfrica The Newspaper, Houston
USAfricaonline.comand CLASSmagazine and The Black BusinessJournal
(This insight was written on January 28, 2003, in Houston,Texas)
No less a figure than the world's preeminent living statesmanNelson Mandela of South Africa who said at the 14th InternationalAIDS Conference in 2002 "AIDS is a war against humanity." Then headded achilling reminder of a harsh fact that AIDS is claiming more victims"than all wars and natural disasters.'' In fact, the United Nationshas since warned that 70 million people could die in the next 20years "unless drastic action is taken'' to tackle AIDS. Accordingly,I believe that U.S. President George W. Bush has initiated a verycommendable action by announcing during his 2003 State of the Unionaddress a pledge of $15 billion for Africa in the fight against AIDS.In seeking an appropriate, loft philosophical anchor for thechallenge ahead, Bush called it a "work of mercy" - noting, "Thisnation can lead the world in sparing innocent people from a plague ofnature."
At an international level, Bush has:
cast the proper attention and light to the dark, dreary,lonesome and gripping lives of millions of continental Africansinfected with the AIDS virus in some obscure village where neitherordinary vitamin C tablets nor disposable syringes for administeringmedication exist &endash; even as the continent's leaders buymultiple jet planes and live opulent, decadent lifestyles of tenuredsquandermaniacs;
raised the moral and financial challenge for the colonialrulers of Africa, namely France, Britain, Belgium, Germany, andpre-colonial Arabist theocratic empire builders who practically rapedAfrica's resources and manpower.
domestically, Bush has added the issue of AIDS in Africa(not 'African AIDS' as some ignoramuses in the media and the SanAntonio-based right-wing "pastor" John Hagee have mis-defined andtruncated the disease.
At the level of implementation, having traveled to differentregions of the African continent and residing here in the U.S., I'llstrongly recommend that accountable NGOs and reputable privateagencies play active roles in this new "work of mercy" in battlingthe issue of AIDS.
When I served on Houston Mayor Lee Brown's transition committee in1999-2000, I made the point that AIDS in Africa must be of policy andoperational interest for Houston and other key cities in the U.S.Why? There are thousands of Africans in the Harris county, andnative-born Americans who travel regularly across Africa for businessand educational interests.
32 million Africans are infected with the HIV virus, almost 5million of them are teenagers with less than 50,000 people gettingthe medicine required to manage whatever remains of their enfeebledlives.
In 1998, when I covered U.S. former president Bill Clinton's visitto Africa, we witnessed the ravages of AIDS inside Africa. Clintonhas argued that "One hundred million AIDS cases means more terror,more mercenaries, more war, destruction, and the failure of fragiledemocracies.'' Translation: AIDS and its related complications willaffect all of us, one way or another!
Fact remains that Africa suffers the scourge of the AIDS virus ina certain, frightening reality, a disaster of catastrophicproportions, devastating human beings who form the core of anydefinition of a country's future, its national security, actual andpotential economic development and internal markets.
In the quest for some solutions and education, in recognition ofthe dangers of the AIDS virus and its catastrophic impact on ourcontinents and peoples, almost 4 years ago I established the USAfricaFightAIDS project. We can do more, and better.
Amidst all the devastation, it is startling and saddeningthat while Africans are facing the most serious threat to ourcollective existence, some African leaders misappropriate scarceresources and privatize public funds. Tell me the last time you readthat any African leader devoted substantial money to a scientifichealth research foundation? The amounts spent for partisan politicaland ethnic power struggle is terribly atrocious, and disconnects fromthe basic needs of the majority of the people. For example, thescandalous 1998-1999 and January 2003 political auctions of votescalled party primaries in Nigeria which bought, brought and has keptretired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo in power is enough to create 53 modernhealthcare centers in every capital city of the countries inAfrica!
Ironically, the younger Bush who dismissed Africa during his 1999election campaign as not being an area of priority, has set on abetter, noble and compassionate march to which all who speak for theliving and human decency must join. It was on the editorial pages ofa number of American and African newspapers in 1991 - just a fewweeks before Christmas - that I wrote an essay, America's cavalry ofhope in Somalia, regarding the U.S. Marines who were sent on a"humanitarian mission" to Somalia by then president George H.W. Bush.He said they were there to do "God's work saving thousands ofinnocents." His son, the 43rd president of the U.S., is returning toAfrica, returning to deploy the moral power of the American republic,opening the challenging doors of history and compassion for a higher,more critical task. For that, on this issue, he gets my support andprayers!
God bless, America!
ChidoNwangwu, recipient of the Journalism Excellence award(1997), is Founder and Publisher of USAfricaonline.com (firstAfrican-owned U.S.-based professional newspaper to be published onthe internet), USAfrica The Newspaper,CLASS magazineand TheBlack Business Journal. He has served as an adviserto the Mayor of Houston on international business (Africa) andappears as an analyst on CNN, VOA, NPR, CBS News, NBC and ABC newsaffiliates.
Mrs. Bush: Nigeria to Get Funds for AIDS. By DebRiechmann/Associated Press: U.S First lady Laura Bush announcedWednesday (January 18, 2006) that Nigeria will receive $163million in U.S. assistance to fight AIDS as she heard a young womanat a small AIDS clinic tell how medications helped her avoid deathfrom the disease.Mrs. Bush, standing next to four cartons ofanti-retroviral drugs, visited with health workers and AIDS patientsat St. Mary's Hospital on the dusty outskirts of the capital. Thefour boxes &emdash; enough to treat 500 people &emdash; is the firstU.S.-backed shipment of the drugs St. Mary's has received throughPresident Bush's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. Mrs. Bush sat undershade tree to hear the stories of clinic workers and patients,including Toyin Yomi, 26, whose frail body was clad in a colorfulnavy dress and shawl. She tested positive for HIV in 1999 and startedher first round of drug treatment in 2003.
Africa suffers the scourge of the virus. This life and pain of Kgomotso Mahlangu, a five-month-old AIDS patient (left) 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
Why Bush should focus on dangers facing Nigeria's return to democracy and Obasanjo's slipperyslide. By Chido Nwangwu
INSIGHT: Destruction of property and human massacres are always traumatic events in a community, saddening and enraging, but the organizers of the beauty contest, as well as the participants, must understand that they are totally free of guilt. The guilty are the storm troopers of intolerance, the manipulators of feeble-minded but murderous hordes of fanaticism. By Prof. Wole Soyinka
"I hope I have shown it is possible to show respect to English and Igbo together. Chinua Achebe added that "The situation may well develop in the future, in which the different languages of Africa will begin to reassert themselves," he added. "I have made provision for that myself, by writing certain kinds of material in Igbo. For instance, I will insist my poetry is translated back into Igbo while I'm still around."
See related resources/text/references:
Why Chinua Achebe, the Eagle on the Iroko, is Africa's writer of the century. By Chido Nwangwu
AchebeBooks.com: On the books, life and work of our Literary ...Achebe, the eagle on the iroko, our pathfinder, social conscience of millions...
Exclusive USAfricaonline.com tribute: Since 1958, Achebe's "Things Fall Apart" set a standard of artistic excellence, and more. We met in person at the first conference on Commonwealth Literature, organized by Professor An Jeffares at Leeds University in 1964. We met again in Lagos, later, the same year. We met again at the Canadian Association of Commonwealth Literature conference in Toronto in 1973. By Douglas Killam
Chinua Achebe: A Literary Diaspora Toasts One of Its Own. By Somini Sengupta
A trial of two cities and struggle for justice. By Jack E. White, an essay by Time magazine columnist for USAfricaonline.com
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as the O.J Simpson case. By Chido Nwangwu
A Lott of Racism?
Implications of Obasanjo's late wake up to the challenges of Sharia in Nigeria. By Ken Okorie
Osama bin-Laden's goons threaten Nigeria and Africa's stability. By Chido Nwangwu
What has Africa to do with September 11 terror? By Chido Nwangwu
Reflections on September 11. By Jonathan Elendu
And the Rocks Cried Out (For Safiyatu). By Effenus Henderson
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.
Pope John Paul, Abacha and Nigeria's Christians
Walter Carrington: An African-American diplomat puts principles above self for Nigeria. USAfricaonline.com Founder Chido Nwangwu with the U.S. former Ambassador Carrington (right) at the U.S. embassy in Lagos during a courtesy visit.
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
AFRICA AND THE U.S. ELECTIONS Beyond U.S. electoral shenanigans, rewards and dynamics of a democratic republic hold lessons for African politics.
Arafat's duplicity, terrorism at the heart of Israeli-Palestinian crises. By Barry Rubin
Will religious conflicts be the time-bomb for Nigeria's latest transition to civilian rule?
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post? No
Nelson Mandela, Tribute to the world's political superstar and Lion of Africa
Winnie Madikizela-Mandela's burden mounts with murder charges, trials
Conflicting emotions, feeling of disappointment, timing of revelation that Rev. Jackson fathered a child with former aide lead to charges of "right-wing orchestration."
Nigeria's Presidential Election: Is it just for the Highest Bidder?
Nigeria at 40: punish financial thuggery, build domestic infrastructure
Is Obasanjo really up to Nigeria's challenge and crises? By USAfricaonline.com contributing editor Ken Okorie.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY How far, how deep will Nigeria's human rights commission go?
Rtd. Gen. Babangida trip as emissary for Nigeria's Obasanjo to Sudan raises curiosity, questions about what next in power play?
COUNTERPOINT 'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
Hate groups' spin by Lamar Alexander benefits anti-Blacks, anti-Semites, and racists
Annan, power and burden of the U.N
The Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents. By Chido Nwangwu
Wong is wrong on Blacks in Houston city jobs
Why is 4-year old Onyedika carrying a placard against killings in Nigeria?
How Nigeria's Islamic Sharia crises will affect the U.S.
USAfrica INTERVIEW "Why African Catholics are concerned about crises, sex abuse issues in our church" - a frank chat with ICCO's Mike Umeorah
Johnnie Cochran will soon learn that defending Abacha's loot is not as simple as his O.J Simpson's case. By Chido Nwangwu The Economics of Elections in Nigeria
At 39, Nigerians still face dishonest stereotypes such as Buckley's, and other self-inflicted wounds.
JFK Jr.: Death of a Good Son
'Why is Bill Maher spreading racist nonsense about HIV/AIDS and Africa on ABC?
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BULLET Versus BALLOT The bloody stain of military coup, on Friday December 24, 1999, sullied the once unique history of democratic rule in the beautiful and historically democratic, French-speaking west African country of Cote d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast) by General Robert Guei (inset). USAfricaonline report and commentary.
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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 special as chosen by the editors and readers of the Houston Press, reflecting their poll and annual rankings.
DEMOCRACY WATCH: Obasanjo raped Nigeria's constitution by suspending Plateau Assembly and Governor. Prof. By Prof. Ben Nwabueze, leading constitutional scholar in the Commonwealth for almost 45 years, former Nigerian federal minister and SAN.
OIL in NIGERIA: Liquid Gold or Petro-Dollars Curse?
Investigating Marc Rich and his deals with Nigeria's Oil
Through an elaborate network of carrots and sticks and a willing army of Nigeria's soldiers and some civilians, controversial global dealer and billionaire Marc Rich, literally and practically, made deals and steals; yes, laughed his way to the banks from crude oil contracts, unpaid millions in oil royalties and false declarations of quantities of crude lifted and exported from Nigeria for almost 25 years. Worse, he lifted Nigeria's oil and shipped same to then embargoed apartheid regime in South Africa. Read Chido Nwangwu's NEWS INVESTIGATION REPORT for PetroGasWorks.com
Should Africa debates begin and end at The New York Times and The Washington Post?
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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
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Reuben Abati's fallacies on Nigeria's history and secession. By Bayo Arowolaju
How Abati, Adelaja and others fuel the campaign of hatred against Ndigbo. By Jonas Okwara
"Obasanjo, secession and the secessionists": A response to Reuben Abati's Igbophobia. By Josh Arinze, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor.
Abati and other anti-Igbo bigots in Nigeria. By Chuks Iloegbunam, USAfricaonline.com contributing editor and author of Ironsi
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy was livecast on February 19, 2002. 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.
WILL ARINZE BE THE FIRST POPE of RECENT AFRICAN ORIGIN? To our Brother Cardinal Arinze: May your pastoral lineage endure!
The Democratic Party stood for nothing in 2002 election cycle. By Jonathan Elendu
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Tiger Woods is no Nelson Mandela! By Chido Nwangwu
SPORTS: Tiger Woods makes more history with another golf Masters win. He shot 12-under-par 276 and a final round 71 at Georgia's Augusta National Golf Club event and collected $1,008,000, on Sunday April 14, 2002. With it, the world's golf phenom added another green jacket to his array of championships and titles, placing him, in this instance, in the same respected Masters' league as Nicklaus (winner 1965 and 1966) and Nick Faldo (1989 and 1990). The three are the only men to win back-to-back Masters. At 26, Woods has since become the youngest golfer to win his seventh professional major championship. He was joined by his parents and his 22 year-old Swedish model girlfriend, Elin Nordegren.
Impeachment process shows Nigerian democracy "is alive... being tested." Nigeria's president retired Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo has said that the impeachment process shows that "democracy is alive, is being tested, and being tried.... What they (the legislators) have tried to do in the democratic way, which is not easy, would probably have been done by taking arms or by -- with bullets. So, but with democracy, of course, some people feel that this is the way this should be, and then I have an opportunity to defend myself. There is discussion. There is dialogue. There is a decision. There is fairness." He made these comments when he appeared on Tuesday September 17, 2002 on CNN International to discuss the issues of impeachment facing him, the allegations of corruption, abuse of the constitution and deployment of soldiers ina civilian environment which led to the "massacre of civilians" in Odi (Bayelsa) and Zaki Biam (Benue). On the charges by international human rights organizations and Nigerian media that his government has been involved in actions which have led to the deaths of thousands of Nigerians, the retired General gave a surprising answer. He was asked that "as many as 10,000 people, it's being reported, have been killed in Nigeria (in) communal rivalries, and the number is believed to be increasing. And people are saying that although President Obasanjo has done a lot of good for Nigeria, you're accused of not -- accused of failing to halt that spiraling violence."
Obasanjo: Let me say this to you, when you put the question of 10,000 -- 10,000 people dying in Nigeria, of course, for a population of over 120 million people...." But USAfricaonline.com Founder and recipient of the Journalism Excellence award (1997), Chido Nwangwu, who appeared on the same program as as a CNN International analyst (Africa) pointed out that "when (President Obasanjo) answered that in a country of 100 million that 10,000 people are said to have died, as if that was a small number, that in itself reflects a disconnect with the concerns of Nigerians. The second one is that when the risk is civil disagreement, the police are required to intervene in the country. And the deployment of the armed forces of Nigeria requires at least some consultation, however modest, with the parliament." Nwangwu, former member of the editorial board of Nigeria's Daily Times continued that "the third factor that is equally important to underscore is that the armed forces of Nigeria moved in for a punitive action rather than just containing a civil disagreement." He noted in USAfricaonline.com backgrounder "it was revealing and interesting interesting discussing Nigeria's issues with its leader - under the current circumstances of an increasingly out-of-schedule elections and the gathering storm of an impeachment process by a majority of the members of the National Assembly, predominantly by Obasanjo's party members." See rush transcript of the CNN International news program.
Obasanjo facing corruption and ineptitude impeachment charges, again since the parliament, a few weeks ago, passed a motion carrying a majority of the members of Obasanjo's party, the PDP.
RELIGION AND ETHNIC CONFLICT: Sharia-related killings and carnage in Kaduna reenact deadly prologue to Nigeria-Biafra war of 1967. By Chido Nwangwu
It's wrong to stereotype Nigerians as Drug Dealers. By Chido Nwangwu
Nigeria as a Nation of Vulcanizers
Why Colin Powell brings gravitas, credibility and star power to Bush presidency.
Private initiative, free market forces, and more democratization are keys to prosperity in Africa.
The Civilianizing of African soldiers into Presidents
Maduekwe, Nwachukwu clash over Obasanjo at World Igbo 2002 convention in Houston. USAfrica Special report
CNN International debate on Nigeria's democracy livecast on February 19, 2002. 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.
Steve Jobs and Apple represent the future of digital living. By Chido Nwangwu
The coup in Cote d'Ivoire and its implications for democracy in Africa. By Chido Nwangwu
(Related commentary) Coup in Cote d'Ivoire has been in the waiting. By Tom Kamara.