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"Culture is the heritage of us all. some may be more interested than others in the treasures of the past, but no one can fail to take a pride in his country's participation in the story of mankind, as represented in carvings, sculpture, music, paintings and the other arts. And there is a personal commitment to this, for no man can really say he is alone: we are all joined through our identity, with the cultures which are part of the mainstream of life"
- Simon Kapwepwe, Zambian Independence Freedom Fighter

"Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm" - Winston Churchill

"Try to be the rainbow in someone else's cloud" - Maya Angelou

"Your time is limited so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma - which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinion drown out your inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition" - Steve Jobs

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

President Obama's Forum With Young African Leaders: 3-5 August

Tomorrow The (US) President's Forum with Young African Leaders kicks off.  115 attendees from 47 Sub-Saharan Africa will be engaged.  Already spotted a problem.  The North and everything South of that divide is being perpetuated.  Why are they not engaging North Africa at the same time?  The whole continent has been connected for millenia.  I know it is to do with the whole Middle East crisis where the majority of Northern African countries have a majority Muslim population and somehow this negates their Africaness!  They had special colonisation tactics for Muslim populations, and this sort of thinking is being perpetuated every time that Sub-Saharan divide is enforced.  Sub-Saharan Africa is not all the same, diversity amongst regions and within countries is very evident and some of that diversity comes from Muslim populations. So systematically singling out North Africa really is quite unfounded when dealing with the continent as a whole. Africa's problems will not be fully solved without cohesive, inclusive and interconnected plans. Alienation is not the answer.

However, I am sure that positives will come from this conference. It is definitely important to keep building bridges. To follow what is going on you can watch things live at US State Department's blog, DipNote, as well as read news as it comes in.  Here are some articles of interest that have already been posted on DipNote: youth empowering citizens, investing in female education, and mobile technology and development.

Here is a list of the attendees.


  1. nice nice!

    North Africa must be included! I know they may deny us, but let's not deny them. Like @Bonang_M said on Twitter recently - "Rise above. Return hate with love.Kill them with kidness. Then bury them with success...."

    We'll follow over the next few days

  2. That business of them denying is to be debated as well. They are eager to play the Africa Cup and in my ubuntu World Cup post an Algerian football player said he was happy to represent the continent. Gaddafi has been rooting for a United States of Africa for time and I asked a friend of mine about her trip to Egypt and whether she felt that she was out of Africa and/ or out of place and she told me that when she asked Egyptians where they thought she was from they though she was from Southern Egypt and was Nubian. I think a lot of this stuff is perpetuated in media channels and by the powers that be who have a vested interest in separating the continent arbitrarily as they did with the random country borders and some of us unfortunately buy into it.

  3. Well, some North Africans do deny us, not just all. I feel you on the soccer part, we play soccer with them and they do support us when we play. In the sports well, the unity is there, and even culturally to some extent, looking at all the Rai N B collaborations. The unity is much more predominant in France.

    Gaddafi has been pusing for a United Africa and I personally like him for that. I think the rest of us (Sub-Saharan) must buy into how much we need them (North African) and how they need us.

  4. Absolutely. And we can't wait for others to initiate. We need to be the leaders!