Africans Act 4 Africa: Famine shouldn’t happen in the 21st century

23 August, 2011 | Conflict & Emergencies

The myth that aid is something the rest of the world provides to Africa prevails.

I’ve been doing lots of interviews about the food crisis in recent weeks, and it’s been clear that for many people in Europe and North America there is still an enduring image of white western aid workers flying in to save starving African children. The myth that aid is something the rest of the world provides to Africa prevails. The reality here of course is very different.

Oxfam has hundreds of staff responding to the crisis, and very few are white and western. Nearly all Oxfam workers in Dadaab refugee camp – the focus of the world’s attention over the past few weeks – are Kenyans, Ugandans and Tanzanians. We couldn’t do any work at all in Somalia, one of the most dangerous places in the world for us to operate, without the amazing efforts of brave Somali organisations and aid workers. In Wajir in northeastern Kenya, our local partners are the ones maintaining the boreholes and keeping the water flowing.

Citizens too have responded with an outpouring of support and generosity. The “Kenyans for Kenya” campaign has quickly raised large amounts of money. In South Africa people have sent donations via SMS, and an inspiring 11-year-old boy from Ghana has captured headlines this week.

Unfortunately the response from African governments has been much slower than the public – “woefully slow and inadequate,” in the words of Oxfam’s Pan Africa Director Irungu Houghton. A new campaign, “Africans Act 4 Africa,” is bringing activists and celebrities together from across the continent to put pressure on African governments to step up to the challenge. Some of Kenya’s best-known musicians have already pledged support with video messages. Famine simply should not be happening in Africa in the 21st century, and governments need to make sure that this is never allowed to happen again.

Join the Africans Act 4 Africa campaign.


re: Famine shouldn’t happen ....


On the one hand the fact that there are native people (although living abroad) who want to be helped is a very satysfying occurence. The problem is, I think, we (charity organizations) should persuade people of the West that povery, hunger and so on in some poor countries in Africa or Asia has not got the same face like similar difficulties in richer and in democratic way governed nations. I am sure that Oxfam is able to and do it well.

What about creating Oxfam branches in  countries like Poland to wide potential donators?

With best regards

Andrzej from Poland



god help me!!

Between us there are lots of new ideas, a new way for Africa....

Aid is no longer the only way. Africa has huge Cultural appeal across the world. Tap into that through varying types of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) or even Social Purchasing (Ethical Trading) outlets where a percentage of all revenues can be invested and even be used to leverage remittances to build Community Hubs across Africa - country by country, both by themselves and for themselves, to further develop trade links....African Traders, African Traded-Services....African Music, Arts, Books......? Today these can even be sold on compact Custom USB Flash Drives as the computer plug-in discs of tomorrow, and to African Diaspora Nations. All the tools are available to do it. And the rich heritage of Africa is a Great Great Story that more and more want to hear, to see, to feel, to sense....for which there is an empathy the world over. After all, Africa is in all out Roots.......What is stopping us, working together, imaginatively....there are so many solutions? The difference will be very real. Richard O'Farrell