Special Appeal to President Obama on African Peace

July 24, 2009. The Honorable Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America Washington DC Dear Mr. President, Special Appeal on African Peace and Development We wish to commend you and your administration for the many good policies and programs that it has began to pursue. Specifically, we are encouraged by your appreciation of common humanity of all people irrespective of their ethnicity, skin color or nationality. This you have demonstrated through your commitment to global economic recovery; efforts at promoting peace and reconciliation worldwide as well as curbing terrorism and other sources of violence. We are particularly thankful for your recent visit to Ghana in Africa. We saw it not only as an expression of your support for democracy and good governance in Africa but a practical rejection of the abuse of power, wanton destruction of lives and property and state sponsored inter-ethnic conflicts and wars that had characterized many of the nations of Africa. We commend you for this courageous act as well as the government and people of Ghana for their political maturity and leadership in Africa. Mr President, as you already know, the economies of most African nations are either aid dependent or near collapse. Researches by various scholars show that Africa is poorer today than it was 40 years ago. With a total GDP slightly above the GDP of Belgium alone, African economies must grow at 5% annually just to maintain the current level of poverty. Brain drain, crippling foreign debts, top level corruption, poor and outdated infrastructure, are common features of most African nations. By 1958, the DRC was producing 50% of the world's uranium, 75% of the world's cobalt, 70% of the world's industrial diamonds, and was the world's largest producer of rubber. It is disheartening to note that today, the average income per capita in the DRC is less than 1% of that in the United States. This is a picture of the falling standard of living and increasing underdevelopment in most African nations. There could be multiplicity of reasons for African underdevelopment. However, most scholars will agree that the consistent inter ethnic conflicts and wars are central to the current levels of degeneracy that is evident in majority of Africa. Hence, for Africa to return to the path of economic progress and sustainable development, radical measures need to be taken by the international community in collaboration with Africans to mini conflicts and forestall wars. While we urge the United States to continue to push for democratic governance and good leadership, we appeal to you, Mr. President to take the following urgent steps to halt the increasing tendency of African nations to descend into armed conflicts. 1. We recommend that all US development aid to African nations be contingent on the commitment of the benefiting states to peaceful co-existence with their neighbors. This commitment will be demonstrated through practical measures that will permit freedom of the press, openness to political opposition, freedom of religion, inter ethnic dialog and cooperation. 2. We strongly recommend that the US government adopt the Frontiers Development Strategy(FDS) as the cornerstone of its foreign policy on Africa. By this strategy, US relations with African Nations will be multinational(three nations) in character anchored on a commitment of the US government and two other African Nations to Peace and non aggression in the border Areas of the two African nations. Consequent upon this peace treaty, all US Development Agencies and Economic Missions to the two African nations are to be set up in these Non aggression borders. The FDS will eliminate border conflicts and transform these frontiers from frontiers of conflicts and wars to frontiers of peace and development. Another benefit of the FDS is that it will promote economic and overall growth of many rural communities in the border areas which are often neglected in strategic national investments, the neglect which often results in cries of marginalization and increased predisposition to national sabotage. Pax Africana would be glad to provide details of the Frontiers Development strategy if requested by your office. We would also be glad to galvanize our team of experts on African Affairs to provide the requisite consultation for understanding and implementing every aspect of this strategy. 3. We call on the US government to take leadership in reforming the international banking system in order to stop the continuous flow of corrupt capital out Africa - a major cause of poverty, wars and underdevelopment in most of African nations Before we conclude, we would like to commend the US government for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA. This bold step taken under U.S former President Bill Clinton to promote fair and equitable trade has reportedly increased the value of African garment exports to the U.S from US$580 million in 1999 to US$1.4 billion in 2003. This is a pointer to the fact that there is still hope for Africa; that a good foreign policy initiative properly managed to address key areas of the African question is capable of pulling Africa from its state of chaos and dependency. Finally, Mr. President, We would like you to know that all well meaning citizens of the world are hopeful that your administration would take the bold steps needed to return Africa to the path of growth and development. We are praying for you and your government. May God bless President Barack Obama, May God bless the United States of America May God bring peace to Africa. All the undersigned are in support of this special appeal. Prof. Tibebe Etshete Chairman, Pax Africana Rev.Joshua Amaezechi President,Pax Africana Gerald Baraza Director for Public Relations,Pax Africana

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