Corruption is the bane of developmental efforts in Africa.
Abdulai Musa, Lagos, Nigeria
Ultimately it is African countries themselves, through their governments, who should take the pole position in eliminating poverty. To do this they will need to democratise their institutions and initiate sound economic policies. Above all, African countries must emphasise transparency in the conduct of their economic programmes. Corruption is the bane of developmental efforts in Africa, and unless it is eliminated I cannot see how the Mandela initiative or others by Western countries can help.
Abdulai Musa, Lagos, Nigeria
Increasing foreign aid and writing off debt will go a long way in alleviating poverty, but the overall burden rests on African leaders. At least some of the money that would have been used in servicing the debt should be spent on health care, education and infrastructural development. African leaders have to come up with a viable economic plan that will help to uplift their citizens from poverty.
Omorodion Osula, Benin City, Nigeria.
Of course the West owes it to the continent to help solve its developmental problems. If we looked at each other as fellow human beings then there would not be any problem with helping thy neighbour. Let's be rid of discrimination of colour, creed, religion and culture, and be compassionate to those who equally deserve to live a life as it was meant for all.
Yogini Patel, Dallas, TX USA
Africa needs to turns to itself to solve its problems. I am an African living in the USA and I have noticed here that people are proud to be Americans and therefore are willing to give back to society. Africa needs to develop a sense of patriotism amongst its people wherever they are. We need those with economic expertise to give something back in helping shape the destiny of Africa. We need voices of hope in Africa who will encourage others to rebuild the broken walls. The beggar mentality must be curbed - after all you can only reap a harvest out of what you sow. If you keep on asking others for help, then you are not sowing anything and there is nothing for you to reap but poverty. More aid only helps to encourage dependency and creates a vicious circle.
Rosemary Mwenja, US
Our region needs more than just aid. We need to work on the root causes of poverty, e.g. corrupt governments and organisations like the IMF and World bank dictating how we should run our countries. We need the aid but please let's explore the root of the problem.
The westerners are chairing this issue of poverty alleviation because they are looking for something more valuable in exchange - crude oil. Africans can help themselves if they want to. African governments bear the prime responsibility and have all that it take to improve the lives of their own citizens.
Bright Nnanna, Abuja-Nigeria.
If Africa actually wanted to rise above the poverty level, it should do something about it.
Chris, Cupertino, USA
Poverty in Africa helps our economies in the West. Because of low wages in various countries in Africa, we are able to enjoy the lifestyles that we do. If Africa actually wanted to rise above the poverty level, it should do something about it. However, I feel that they have no real desire to make a change in their lives.
Chris, Cupertino, USA
African leaders should be held accountable for developing the lot of their people. The massive corruption that permeates most African governments is the prime reason for under-development in most African countries. Although the West should give some debt relief to African nations, stipulations should be put in place that the resulting financial outcome should be used to provide social services, schools, roads, hospitals, etc. Otherwise, greedy leaders will continue to live in luxury while the masses continue to suffer.
George Freeman, Liberian in Baltimore, USA
The world can give aid to Africa, but it will be in vain if trade barriers remain in place. If trade terms are improved, then aid will be used to facilitate economic activity in Africa. Money saved from cancelled debts will also be used to stimulate economic growth. Aid alone will be meaningless as it won't help in the long run.
I do commend the British prime minister and chancellor for their hard work on debt relief. I hope the G8 group countries will set up a way to over see and control how the money is invested. It is now up to Africans to work hard for their own people's safety and prosperity!
Haile Mengistu, Kalamazoo, MI, USA
Without any form of equivocation, poverty can be beaten. African countries are poverty-stricken neither by default nor by design, but by ignoble acts of our leaders. The West, indirectly, owes it to the continent to help solve its development problems because it has gone beyond the ability of the system we have in place to handle.
Ekundayo Shittu, Massachusetts, USA
I do not think increasing foreign aid and writing off debt will have the magic to eliminate poverty. To me, that is tantamount to treating the symptom of a disease and not the cause. We all know what causes poverty: corruption and bad governance. Aid has only served to perpetuate dependence and fiscal irresponsibility!
Benjamin, Minnesota, USA
Should the West watch with folded arms as Africa wrestles with poverty? I resoundingly answer 'no' to this, because the western world has dipped her hands in the 'honeycomb' of African resources for so long. With the intensified pace of globalisation, poverty in any part of the world affects the entire human race.
Kiarie Simon, Guildford, UK
Poverty is solved by creating jobs not giving aid. If the developed world doesn't open its markets and end unfair subsidies, then I can't see how we can reduce poverty. Africa only needs aid or loans to industrialise.
We Africans have to change our mentality. We all should come together as one people with one voice and stop the tribalism that is causing the problems. Our leaders should stop being selfish and listen to the people who they are serving.
A. Benjamin, New Zealand
Populist talk does not put porridge on the table.
Reg Weiss, PAARL, South Africa
Aid to Africa is indeed necessary to secure responsible and accountable government, but above all we need the skills to enable African farmers to feed themselves. We have to start with the basics and that is a greater awareness of the need for skills training and rural infrastructure. Populist talk does not put porridge on the table.
Reg Weiss, PAARL, South Africa
What poverty? There's probably enough corruption money lying in banks to solve Africa's problems.
John Gill, CapeTown - South Africa
Poverty can be beaten, but it will take more than aid and writing off debts. It will take fighting corruption and there is also the AIDS crisis to be solved.
Chris, Bucharest, Romania
Community participation should be encouraged when aid is given. It gives a sense of belonging and people are unlikely to embezzle funds for projects that is for the good of their communities. Transparency and the rule of law will create an enabling environment for foreign investment. When taxes are used for the purpose they are meant, the people will be motivated to pay them. The citizens for their part need to eschew ethnic violence and other disruptive tendencies that keep investors away from their shores.
Abdu Opaluwa, Plymouth, UK
African leaders ask for debt relief for their own interests and not for the interests of their citizens. That's why donors are reluctant to cut off the debt because they are not sure whether the saved monies will go to the intended projects.
Mazuba Mwiinga, Chikuni, Zambia
It is the responsibility of African governments to improve the lives of their citizens by using the taxes paid as is done in the western world
Joan Kakonge, Leeds, UK
I was at the rally and I am a pupil at Lourdes secondary school in Glasgow. I got to meet Mr Mandela and I spoke on stage at the campaign in front of all the people. The reason that I am sending this is to let you know that we are all willing to help even in the smallest way. I will be at the G8 summit in July.
Lauren Mccann , Glasgow Scotland
If everyone donated to African poverty like they donated to the Tsunami relief then we could definitely put a dent in the massive problem.
Alice Petty, Palo Alto, California, USA
Of course a temporal relief may be there for the receivers, but how about the common man or woman in the remotest part of the country who does not even know that there is such a thing like live aid and debt relief?
Shuttie F.N.Libuta, Kitwe Zambia
Who is getting all this aid or who is accountable for it apart from the legislators? Mr Mandela seems to be serious with this debt relief concept, but if you borrow or get free aid and the money is not put to good use, how can writing off debts overcome poverty? Of course a temporal relief may be there for the receivers, but how about the common man or woman in the remotest part of the country who does not even know that there is such a thing like live aid and debt relief? If Mr Mandela is ready to knock on the door of each government house or office to find out how monies have been utilised, then probably we can be assured of development, otherwise it is a mare sing song or a wild goose chase. As for the West owing it to the African continent to solve some of its problems caused by herself and the West, well, it is just a matter of morality and principle that both parties clear their names by doing that which is required of them.
Shuttie F.N.Libuta, Kitwe Zambia/Central Africa
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2005/02/04 16:02:08 GMT