Forward Comrade …

Kwesi Quartey’s Believes Nkrumah Lives Through His Ideas

The Deputy Chair of the African Union (AU), Kwesi Quartey, says Dr. Kwame Nkrumah still lives through his ideas and teachings.

“Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s name would live forever because his ideas and teachings remain very much alive and relevant. Ambassador Quartey said this, when he launched a book entitled, “Death of an Empire-Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana and Africa”.

He described Dr. Nkrumah as an extra-ordinary man, who had profound influence on Ghana and Africa.

“To him, African Unity was the most natural thing after independence,” said the AU Deputy Chair. He praised Dr. Nkrumah for his visionary ideas such as his passion for the eradication of illiteracy and added that although he was physically no more present, Dr. Nkrumah had transformed into an idea that was very relevant in present times.

Mr. Ivor Agyeman-Duah, Editor of the book, said the history of nations, often held different interpretations for different people. He said it was thus important to keep revisiting such history, in order to have better insight into events of that nature.

The nine chapter and 137 page book, has as its author, the late Kwame Sanas-Poku Jantuah, an apostle of Ghana’s first President, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. He was a member of his All African Cabinet, and for years served as Ambassador to France, Brazil and the United Kingdom.

A participant and witness in the history of the transition from Gold Coast to Ghana, Jantuah who died in 2011 at the age of 89, reflected and interpreted some of the major events of the 1950s and 60s, as well as foreign policy formulation.
The book also reflected on Ghana’s fourth republic and developments on the African continent since.

It is published by Digi Books Ghana Ltd.
Source: GNA

Kwame Nkrumah, the AfCFTA and the ‘Africa We Want’

The recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement brings us a step closer to the dream of a united continent, one of the goals under the African Union’s Agenda 2063, aimed at achieving the “Africa We Want”.  But a game plan is needed if Africa is to hold its own amid globalised economic competition, writes Dede Amanor-Wilks.

” Seek ye first the political kingdom, and all else shall be added unto you”, Ghana’s first president, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, entreated Africans. For Nkrumah, the “political kingdom” meant not just the political liberation of a single African country, nor even all the countries of Africa, currently numbering 55. It meant reversing Africa’s colonial balkanisation to reunify the continent as a single pan-Africanist political entity, a union of African states. With political union, Africa would be in a position to compete economically with the advanced industrialised countries of the world.”

Some 60 years later, with the political unification of the continent still a distant prospect, efforts to launch the AfCFTA are predictably not moving in a straight line. Two of Africa’s biggest economies, Nigeria and South Africa, have held back from signing the agreement, on the grounds that they needed to consult interest groups and other stakeholders at home. 

Nigeria did not hold back from expressing its fear that Africa’s less protected economies would be used as conduits for the world’s biggest exporters to dump cheap goods across the continent, thereby threatening its industrialisation project.

Such fears are quite real. The free trade agreement as it stands is yet to specify the rules of origin, making it politically sensitive in both countries.

But these fears can be addressed when Africa’s citizens, business leaders and politicians come together to agree on and implement a pan-Africanist strategy for economic development that would enable even the smallest African economies to draw strength from an expanded continental market and survive competition by global forces.

As the founders of the Organisation of African Unity recognised, unity was needed to avoid “economic friction” and “bitter political rivalry”, the points made by Nkrumah in the conclusion to his 1963 book, Africa Must Unite.

For despite the fears, the arguments for economic union are quite compelling. Economies of scale, job and income opportunities and mobility of investment capital were some of the arguments reiterated recently by AUC Deputy Chairperson, Ambassador Kwesi Quartey, speaking at the 51st Conference of African Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development in Addis Ababa.

“How to boost African production and move the continent from its position as a producer of primary commodities and exporter of raw, unprocessed goods has been a preoccupation of Africa’s leaders since independence.”

African integration would deliver the prospect of a combined African GDP of over three trillion dollars a year, boost consumer spending to about US$1.4 trillion in 2020 and increase intra-African trade by as much as US$35 billion a year, or 52% above the baseline by 2022, Ambassador Quartey pointed out, adding that boosting intra-African trade is the most effective route to African growth and development. 

“But in order to trade,” Ambassador Quartey said tellingly, “Africa first has to produce – and not just primary commodities. We must begin to apply science and technology to production.” Encouragingly, he added: “Statistical evidence has demonstrated that intra-African trade has tended to be mainly in processed foods; that is, goods and commodities to which value has been added.”

How to boost African production and move the continent from its position as a producer of primary commodities and exporter of raw, unprocessed goods has been a preoccupation of Africa’s leaders since independence.

To address this question, Nkrumah brought some of the world’s leading development economists to Ghana, the first black African country to achieve political independence from European colonialists. 

Among Nkrumah’s advisors was Albert Otto Hirschman, a German economist to whom is attributed the expression “linkages”. Today, our understanding that economic development depends on creating backward and forward linkages between agriculture and manufacturing sectors is due to Hirschman’s work in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hirschman argued that the needs of a developing economy are so vast and the obstacles to manufacturing so great that what is needed is to identify sectors for investment that have the potential to drag the rest of the economy behind them. Hirschman’s strategy for economic development implies a level of specialisation that could serve the AfCFTA in two ways.

In the first place, specialisation, be it in food processing, textiles production or other activities often observed in the early phase of a country’s industrialisation, is the secret to productivity increases. This is why secondary production in manufacturing always outperforms primary production in agriculture in terms of productivity gains.

Secondly, specialisation among groups of countries with particular comparative advantage in certain areas – let’s say in the manufacturing of chocolates, cement or aluminium sheeting in one part of the continent; gold and diamond rings in another; and fertilizer and pharmaceuticals in yet another – could result in the optimal use of Africa’s resources towards the production of goods for the kind of mutually beneficial intra-African trade that would boost employment and minimise the tendency of countries to undercut each other.

Agreement at continental level on how countries produce and export what goods under what conditions could ensure a level of collaboration and commitment to a common goal that would meet Agenda 2063’s aspirations, both for a “prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development” and for an “integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance”. 

Within a sector such as textiles, for example, different countries and regions have different products and specialisations that could be recognised as unique and accorded particular status, for example in the case of hand-woven kente cloth in Ghana or bogolan in Mali.

Textiles is an area of manufacturing that is particularly instructive because of the much-reported collapse of textile firms across the continent under the liberalisation policies of the 1980s and 1990s. China’s visible rise since the early 2000s and its aggressive dumping of copycat signature African textiles with fake African trademarks, a form of unfair competition, calls for a continental approach to the protection of high-potential African manufactures. 

Indeed defending Africa’s interests is one of the goals of Agenda 2063. Since the cost of patents is far beyond the means of most individual African producers, and not always culturally appropriate, support for the establishment of community or sub-regional patents and copyrights is one area in which the intellectual property rights of African textile producers could be facilitated by the African Union in its quest for transformative leadership to drive Agenda 2063.

Within such a scenario, countries with fewer natural endowments in terms of population or natural resources would also find their place, making them less willing to be used as conduits for the illegal dumping of fake or overproduced goods from other regions of the world. 

Moving through the early stages of the production of basic goods and services towards production of an increasingly sophisticated range of products demanded by a technologically savvy and growing youth population, while respecting African values of reciprocity and collaboration, could go a long way towards creating the Africa We Want. For too long it has remained a dream.

(Main image: Workers at the textile production factory JayJay Textiles in Ethiopia on 4 April 2017. Here, among other things, the brand H&M and other export goods are produced. – Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)

The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of SAIIA or CIGI. 

 How to boost African production and move the continent from its position as a producer of primary commodities and exporter of raw, unprocessed goods has been a preoccupation of Africa’s leaders since independence.
To address this question, Nkrumah brought some of the world’s leading development economists to Ghana, the first black African country to achieve political independence from European colonialists. 

Among Nkrumah’s advisors was Albert Otto Hirschman, a German economist to whom is attributed the expression “linkages”. Today, our understanding that economic development depends on creating backward and forward linkages between agriculture and manufacturing sectors is due to Hirschman’s work in the 1950s and 1960s.

Hirschman argued that the needs of a developing economy are so vast and the obstacles to manufacturing so great that what is needed is to identify sectors for investment that have the potential to drag the rest of the economy behind them. Hirschman’s strategy for economic development implies a level of specialisation that could serve the AfCFTA in two ways.

In the first place, specialisation, be it in food processing, textiles production or other activities often observed in the early phase of a country’s industrialisation, is the secret to productivity increases. This is why secondary production in manufacturing always outperforms primary production in agriculture in terms of productivity gains.

Secondly, specialisation among groups of countries with particular comparative advantage in certain areas – let’s say in the manufacturing of chocolates, cement or aluminium sheeting in one part of the continent; gold and diamond rings in another; and fertilizer and pharmaceuticals in yet another – could result in the optimal use of Africa’s resources towards the production of goods for the kind of mutually beneficial intra-African trade that would boost employment and minimise the tendency of countries to undercut each other.

Agreement at continental level on how countries produce and export what goods under what conditions could ensure a level of collaboration and commitment to a common goal that would meet Agenda 2063’s aspirations, both for a “prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development” and for an “integrated continent, politically united, based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance”. 
Within a sector such as textiles, for example, different countries and regions have different products and specialisations that could be recognised as unique and accorded particular status, for example in the case of hand-woven kente cloth in Ghana or bogolan in Mali.

Textiles is an area of manufacturing that is particularly instructive because of the much-reported collapse of textile firms across the continent under the liberalisation policies of the 1980s and 1990s. China’s visible rise since the early 2000s and its aggressive dumping of copycat signature African textiles with fake African trademarks, a form of unfair competition, calls for a continental approach to the protection of high-potential African manufactures. 

Indeed defending Africa’s interests is one of the goals of Agenda 2063. Since the cost of patents is far beyond the means of most individual African producers, and not always culturally appropriate, support for the establishment of community or sub-regional patents and copyrights is one area in which the intellectual property rights of African textile producers could be facilitated by the African Union in its quest for transformative leadership to drive Agenda 2063.

Within such a scenario, countries with fewer natural endowments in terms of population or natural resources would also find their place, making them less willing to be used as conduits for the illegal dumping of fake or overproduced goods from other regions of the world. 

Moving through the early stages of the production of basic goods and services towards production of an increasingly sophisticated range of products demanded by a technologically savvy and growing youth population, while respecting African values of reciprocity and collaboration, could go a long way towards creating the Africa We Want. For too long it has remained a dream.

(Main image: Workers at the textile production factory JayJay Textiles in Ethiopia on 4 April 2017. Here, among other things, the brand H&M and other export goods are produced. – Michael Gottschalk/Photothek via Getty Images)
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of SAIIA or CIGI. 

Ghanaian Grabs Top AU Job

Thomas Kwesi Quartey, former Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration and onetime Executive Secretary to immediate past President John Dramani Mahama, was yesterday elected Vice Chairman of the Africa Union (AU) Commission.

His new position did not come as a surprise to many, considering the intense lobbying mounted for him by government, led by President Akufo-Addo and Ghana’s delegation at the ongoing 28th Africa Union summit.

He could not but thank the government and people of Ghana for their support.

What came as a surprise to many was the defeat of Kenya’s Foreign Affairs and International Trade Secretary, Amina Mohamed, as Chairman of the AU Commission.

Amina had been largely tipped to succeed the outgoing Chairperson of the commission, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma from South Africa, but lost her bid.

In a vote that took seven rounds to conclude, she lost to her Chadian counterpart, Moussa Faki Mahamat, 56 years old.

Faki is not new to the workings of the AU, having previously served as the chairperson of the AU’s Economic, Social and Cultural Council.

He was a former Chadian Prime Minister.

Another Ghanaian, Professor Felix Dapare Dakora, also made Ghana proud at the AU summit yesterday when he received the prestigious Kwame Nkrumah Award for Science and Technology.

For his reward, Prof. Dakora of the Chemistry Department at the Tshwane University of Technology in Pretoria, South Africa, took home a certificate, plaque and a whopping $100,000 cheque to aid his work.

“I feel absolutely overwhelmed; it is one of the greatest honours in life, given the history of the award [named after Kwame Nkrumah], our first President. To be a recipient of the award named after our first president does me proud,” he told journalists after receiving the honours.

President Akufo-Addo and the Ghanaian delegation could not hide their excitement at the honour the two have brought the country whiles congratulating them.

From Charles Takyi-Boadu, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (Daily Guide Network)

Opening Remarks by H.E. Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, at the Experts Consultative Meeting

TOWARDS DEVELOPING AN AFRICAN HUMAN SECURITY INDEX – ON PRACTICES, METHODS AND DESIGNS

Your Excellency Mr. Yukio Takasu, Special Adviser to the Secretary General on Human Security, My Sister Dr. Thokozile Ruzvidzo, Director, Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division of UNECA. Mr. Gerald Mitchell, Deputy Head of Office and Director of Political Affairs, UNOAU, Mr. Markus Awatre, Director, African Union Cooperation Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, Colleagues from the United Nations and AUC, Experts on Human Security Index,

Allow me, on behalf of H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, to welcome all of you here today. Our task today is to deliberate on the multi-faceted and multi-dimensional aspect of Human Security in Africa.

This occasion is yet another opportunity to recognize and commend the combined and coordinated effort that our two sister organizations, the AU and the UN, in everything that we do.

We only recently concluded meetings on the RCM (Africa) and the 6th Session of the Africa Regional Forum on Sustainable Development (ARFSD-6) at the beautiful Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe. Being in Zimbabwe, especially having the opportunity to visit the Smoke That Thunders, which somebody decided to name after Queen Victoria, the Empress of India – one begins to understand why Comrade Robert Gabriel Mugabe (of blessed memory) and our illustrious in-law, was not the favourite person of our former colonial master, UK.

These meetings provided a platform for our two institutions to have a conversation on how to strengthen our collaboration in a more coherent and coordinated manner. The overall objective, as always, was to ensure the engagement of the African Union in the conception, inception and design of our joint development initiatives because our experience tells us that when we are able to think through our issues together, their actual implementation becomes that much easier and more effective.

As we gather here today to deliberate on the way forward to develop an African Human Security Index, we are satisfied that the AU is in the driving seat. In doing so, we may finally be getting close to the idea of continental planning that Kwame Nkrumah so fervently wrote about in his classic work AFRICA MUST UNITE. That is how the African Human Security Index both in design and implementation can truly meet the aspirations of the African people. That is the only way it can become people-oriented in a truly African sense.

I am delighted therefore to note that this meeting demonstrates our determination to closely work together to design and develop the first ever African Human Security Index. We particularly welcome the ideas provided by our Youth Envoy, Aya Chebi, to make the youth key drivers in Africa’s developmental process. They are the future which in the timeless words of the Lebanese poet, Khalil Gibran, “we cannot see, not even our dreams.”

Kwame Nkrumah, the visionary, had already seen this over 50 years ago when he stated:
“Across the parapet, I can see mother Africa, her body besmeared in the blood of her sons and daughters in the struggle to liberate her from the clutches of colonialism. I can see cities of Africa becoming the centre of science, technology, of culture and development, and I can hear the immortals resounding the echo, that seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things shall be added unto you.”

What are these other things? The CFTA, the Single Air Transport Mechanism, the Common Passport, the Common African Citizenship, the African Central Bank, etc. He it was who famously described the shape of the continent, the African conundrum of poverty amidst wealth, that even the shape of the continent was a question mark, with Madagascar as the dot. Robert Nesta Kwabena Marley said it even more vividly:

“In the abundance of water, the fool is thirsty”.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The concept of human security was introduced two and a half decades ago in the UN General Assembly. We recognize and appreciate efforts countries like Japan have taken with the support of the UN towards operationalizing the concept. Indeed, threats that confront people’s lives on a daily basis are the critical starting point of the human security approach. It is therefore critical that our discussions today foster and assert the UNDP 1994 Human Development “people-centred” approach. This also centres on the question of governance, democratic governance, demonstrating what Abraham Lincoln called the government of the people, by the people for the people.

So, governance, by which we can only mean democratic governance, is key. In his classic work entitled The Competitive Advantage of Nations, Prof. Michael Porter, a professor of Competitive Strategy, had this to say:
“In the modern global economy, prosperity is a nation’s choice. Competitiveness is no longer limited to those nations with a favourable inheritance. Nations choose prosperity if they organize their policies, laws and institutions based on productivity. Nations choose prosperity if, for example, they upgrade the capabilities of all their citizens and invest in the types of specialized infrastructure that allow commerce to be efficient. Nations choose poverty, or limit their wealth, if they allow their policies to erode the productivity of business. They limit their wealth if skills are reserved only for a few. They limit their wealth when business success is secured by family connections or government concessions rather than productivity. War or ineffective government can derail prosperity, but these are often under the collective control of citizens.”

The AU is open and ready to listen, learn, and to work with the experts and partners here to help in the development of an African Human Security Index, specific to the context of African countries and the challenges they face in the current global and regional setting.

The new definition by the Commission on Human Security (CHS), is a way to protect the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfilment by protecting fundamental freedoms. All this fits in very well within the vision of the AU on Peace and Security, especially on Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development, the AU theme of this year, on an integrated Africa through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the aspirations within the AU Agenda 2063, specifically highlighting the need for the development of an African Human Security Index under its Flagship Project on Silencing the Guns, to strengthen its progress, and many other frameworks with partners such as the AU-UN Joint Framework for Enhanced Partnership in Peace and Security.

The African Human Security Index (AHSI) will be instrumental in meeting the aspirations of the continent in addressing the environmental, socio-economic, peace and security, and governance challenges, as well as human rights dimensions.

It will further strengthen peace and advance progress towards implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 and UN SDGs 2030, while supporting efforts to effectively silence the guns on the continent, to ensure the prosperity of the African people.

We urge colleagues here present, representing the wide spectrum of the African Union, to come up with programmes and activities that touch on every aspect of the Human Security, to participate and contribute effectively to this Experts Consultative Meeting to ensure the design and development of a robust comprehensive and scalable African Human Security Index.

To conclude, perhaps you will allow me to recall the words of one of Africa’s heroes, Amilcar Cabral, who once famously spoke thus:
“Always remember and bear in mind that the people are not fighting for ideas in anyone’s head. They are fighting to win material benefits, to live better and in peace, to see their lives go forward, to guarantee the future of their children. Hide nothing from the masses of our people. Tell no lies, expose lies whenever they are told. Mask no difficulties, mistakes, failures. Claim no easy victories. Let us be precise. For us, African revolution means the transformation of our present life in the direction of progress.”

We are eager to hear from your recommendations on the way forward. I wish you all fruitful discussions and deliberations.

Thank you.

Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah

WHO IS THIS?

The FORESIGHTED and REDEMPTIVE Leader of Africa. A seer, Prophet, and Visionary of all times. His head was fully occupied about a healthy and self-confident Africa and indeed worked towards it with BOLDNESS. Father of the African Personality- Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah- Founding President/Co- President of Guinea. The awesome touch lit by you continues to burn and burning aloft giving light and guidance to the current generation.

Announcing USAfrica Institute – Gh. Chapter Steering Committee Members

Brothers and Sisters, we present to you the USAfrica Institute – Gh Chapter Steering Committee Members.
The MOSAIC leadership approach is to reflect the essence of the USAfrica Institute to justify its reasons for existence.
—‐—————————-
USAfrica Institute Gh Chapter Steering Committee:

Co-chair –
Bro Prof Herbert Mawodyo
Bro Dr. Bedima Duut( Esq)

Deputies –
Dr. John Pwamang
Bro Nkrumah Kwaku Philemon
Bro Nii Ardey Otoo
Sis Lydia Odarmey

Secretaries
Sis Patience Ndebugre (Facilitator)
Bro Samuel Cudjoe
Bro Dr. Taita Dhlegbu

Organising/Growth –
Bro Nana Bonsu (Facilitator)
Sis Dr. Norma Rutendo Mapurisa
Sis Hon Juliet Abena Takyiwa
Bro Isaac Abanga
Bro Seydouh Bhomanjorh

Agric Devt Coordinators –
Bro J K Imoro Amoro (Facilitator)
Bro Edward Kareweh
Bro Stephen Baffour

Youth League
Sis Christine Mhundwa-(Facilitator)
Sis Victoria Joel
Bro Abell Owusu
Bro Paul Akumbe Gaddafi
Bro Mohamed Kantè

Ex officio Members –
Bro Prof PL O Lumumba
Bro Yaw Opoku( Esq)
Sis Amb Dr. Arikana Chihombori
Bro Dr. Zaya Yeebo
Bro Dr. C.W.Muzamhindo
Bro Dr. Benjamin Anyagre

Note
The facilitators are to initiate meetings via Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, etc.
Record minutes of meetings and forward them to the Co-chair and Secretary with copies to the Deputies.
Secretary will subsequently send minutes of meetings to the Ex- Officio members.

Thanks for your understanding and kindly comply with the COVID’19 protocols. USAfrica Institute seeks to be a fully integrated grassroots establishment to pursue the wellbeing and welfare of Africans.

The group believes in social dialogue, inclusiveness, social justice in tandem with the AU 2063 Agenda and the SDG’S goals of the UN.
The emphasizes is on the alternatives against fratricidal wars, civil unrest and conflicts.

Africans are tired of the use of guns as a means of pursuing grievances and would use a peaceful coexistence means interlaced with harmony to address the concerns and interests of Africans.

The USAfrica Institute – wish to change the negative narratives about Africa through engagement/ collaboration/partnership to create jobs and wealth for the Youth of Africa. There’s enough in Africa to feed Africans.
Our Youth mustn’t go through the deserts in an attempt to cross the Mediterranean to seek greener pastures in Europe.

Good Leadership in Africa; Redemptive Leadership in Africa; Apt and Foresighted Leadership in Africa; Human centredness with a duty of care Leadership in Africa should create joy and happiness on the Continent.

This is what USAfrica Institute seeks to achieve in the very footsteps of our forebearers who got political independence for our States in Africa.
Uhuru- Amandla

AFRICA MUST UNITE OR ROT

KNII aims to offer a Pan African Ideological stimulus and training to Pan African establishments across the continent and beyond searching for a bright and prosperous Africa.

The New Africa is concealed in the teachings of our forebearers.
In the KNII, the teachings of our forebearers are revealed in our contemporary challenges and sorrow.

Here we believe in experiential learning where theory is tied to practice thereby ensuring positive outcomes for a better livelihood in our communities.

AFRICA MUST UNITE OR ROT.

KNII WhatsApp platform is created for teachings, discussions and engagement on:

NKRUMAISM
PAN AFRICANISM and SCIENTIFIC SOCIALISM

We stand in KNII to learn – unlearn and relearn through the rich Nkrumaist discipline.

Intellectual preparation is crucial for the task ahead.

NKRUMAISM IS THE WAY TO ENLIGHTENMENT and a nemesis of neo- colonialism

Western media is to blame for anti-China bigotry

Editor’s note: China’s mobility in the COVID-19 fight is unprecedented in the world’s public health history. However, it is still depicted by the West as draconian. What’s behind deep-rooted racist sentiments against China? CGTN’s Liu Jianxi talked with Mario Cavolo, an author, speaker, artist, and entrepreneur, on these issues. The article reflects the author’s opinions, and not necessarily the views of CGTN.

CGTN: Is racism against China a result of the “clash of civilizations”?

Cavolo: There are reports in almost every country of some unexpected individual incidents of people really xenophobically and bigotedly attacking some individual Chinese people that they see. This is part of human nature. This happens to people of all different kinds of ethnicity and all over the world for different reasons. And no matter what, education and compassion and love are the solution to these kinds of problems.

However, why towards Chinese? Because, again, the mainline Western media has been fomenting these attacks and creating the mindset in a lot of Western people who allow themselves to fall for this kind of ignorant and bigoted way of looking at people and targeting people. They’re to blame. They’re responsible because they influence the societies in that sense.

CGTN: How do you evaluate the Chinese government’s response to the virus?

Cavolo: The Chinese government’s response to the virus started off early with a local problem that was delayed a couple of weeks in Wuhan by local officials in a mistake. China is as equally upset about that as everyone, and is openly talking about and reporting about that.

The West then just focuses on that early local mistake instead of what immediately happened afterwards, which is this amazing, remarkable, unprecedented, broad and responsible on the part of the Chinese government that, in fact, no other government in the world could have done to execute such a broad and aggressive response. And then this gets reported in the Western media as draconian control of the people.

No, it’s not draconian control of the people. It’s extreme measures in the face of death and tragedy, not government conspiracy. And we’re all working together to protect ourselves from a very nasty virus. And our actions are even tested by the rest of the world. This is humanitarian efforts, not politics.

CGTN: How do you evaluate the international community’s response to China?

Cavolo: The international community’s response to support China has been wonderful. First of all, internationally, the official response from America, from the government, they just announced, for example, an additional 100 million U.S. dollars of donations to help fight the virus.

More importantly, here in China, us as foreigners, us as American people and American companies who made China our home for decades, we have all pulled together locally here inside China, and have raised over 204 million RMB in cash donations and an additional U.S.D cash donations in millions and donations of all kinds of related equipment and supplies to help.

President Trump wants to pass the buck – China is an easy target

Editor’s note: Dr. John Gong is a professor at the University of International Business and Economics and a research fellow at the Academy of China Open Economy Studies at the University of International Business and  Economics (UIBE). The article reflects the author’s views, and not necessarily those of CGTN.

While deploring a significant amount of misinformation and disinformation circulating on the Internet, some of the high-ranking officials of the Trump administration are also fabricating blatant lies themselves, including President Trump as well. During a TV interview a few days ago his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo established a bogus connection between China’s retaliatory measure to revoke several journalist licenses of five U.S. media outlets and alleged attempts to thwart COVID-19 news coverage. President Trump stepped it up a notch yesterday during a press conference by simply making up things out of the blue without even doing any proper homework.

For days he has been pounded by journalists for his repeated references to the so-called “Chinese virus.” When asked this question again on Saturday, he first said that China could have told the U.S. what is happening in Wuhan “three or four months earlier” and later changed it to “two or three months earlier.” Regardless of what is really the correct time frame on his mind, we know that the U.S. government was first officially notified of the coronavirus situation in Wuhan on January 3, which was disclosed by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying. So Trump is basically suggesting that COVID-19 was already spreading wildly in Wuhan in October or early November.

Trump’s steadfast referencing to the “Chinese virus” serves one single purpose. That is to blame someone or something in order to provide cover for his own incompetence in quickly containing the outbreak back in February. In many instances of his past, the scapegoat is usually something foreign. China is an easy target for two reasons.

First, he is betting on the so-called China cover-up theory. It might be true that, but still debatable whether, China was indeed caught off guard with an inadequate response initially in January, which is actually not unusual as we have witnessed the same unfolding in South Korea, in Italy and in other European countries.

But China regrouped and rebounded with a vengeance, to the extent of totally eradicating this vicious virus so far. We as a nation have been clean with no new domestic infections for three consecutive days. But regardless of what could have been done better by the Chinese government here, buying a few more days of time at most in America would not have had any real impact in terms of significantly rewriting the COVID-19 spread situation in the U.S. by now. 

What is happening in the U.S. right now is entirely the result of the Trump Administration’s ineptitude and his totally misleading statements to fool the American public for political expediency, such as his calling of “corona flu” and his comment that “it will disappear one day like a miracle”, etc.

The second reason that Trump would not give up using the term the “Chinese virus” is that he has already determined that the virus originated in China, albeit with absolutely no training whatsoever in epidemiology. Trump has so many “Nobody-knows-xxx-better-than-I-do” statements on his back that he is not shy about smattering into things he has absolutely no clue.

But in the realm of epidemiology, the origin of a virus really doesn’t matter, as it could have broken out anywhere of the globe being a human problem. And that is precisely the reason why the WHO has come up with the name COVID-19 to avoid any racial or territorial stigma by association.

But even speaking of the COVID-19’s origin, there seems no definitive conclusions yet, and furthermore, there might still be multiple sources. Some lethal pandemics in history were never traced clear of its origin in fact. For example, scientists are still not certain where the Spanish flu originated from. France, China and Britain have all been suggested as the potential birthplace, as has the U.S. as a matter of fact, where the first known case was reported at a military base in Kansas on March 11, 1918.

Incidentally, America’s media outlet National Public Radio (NPR) did an interview with Dr. Giuseppe Remuzzi in Italy, who is the co-author of a recent paper about COVID-19 in The Lancet. Here is something interesting that Remuzzi said when asked about why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on February 21:

“That they remember having seen very strange pneumonias, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even in November. It means that the virus was circulating at least in Lombardy before we were aware of the outbreak in China.”

Spotlight: U.S. politicians’ use of “Chinese virus” widely condemned

“Bigotry against people of Asian descent is unacceptable, un-American, & harmful to our COVID-19 response efforts,” said U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren.

NEW YORK/ISLAMABAD, March 19 (Xinhua) — The recent re-labeling of the novel coronavirus with xenophobic undertones by some U.S. politicians to stigmatize China has drawn widespread criticism.

As the international community works together to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, a few American politicians are shifting blame to China for the virus’ spread by recasting it as a “Chinese virus” or “foreign virus.”

Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, warned on Wednesday against using the phrase “Chinese virus,” saying that “Viruses know no borders, and they don’t care about your ethnicity, the color of your skin or how much money you have in the bank.”

“So it’s really important we be careful in the language we use,” Ryan said at a news conference in Geneva, giving an example of the H1N1 influenza outbreak in 2009.

The pandemic “originated in North America and we didn’t call it the North American flu,” he said, calling for solidarity and joint efforts of all countries.

Ryan was echoed by co-founder of Microsoft Corporation Bill Gates, who wrote on Wednesday in an Ask Me Anything session on the American social news platform Reddit that “we should not call this the Chinese virus.”

The tally of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 pandemic has reached over 220,000 and spans at least 160 countries and regions, according to the latest statistics from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

With the world facing an escalating challenge from the disease, “it’s also an unprecedented opportunity to come together as one against a common enemy,” the WHO wrote on its Twitter feed on Wednesday.

  • S. Senator Elizabeth Warren on Wednesday refuted the White House’s racist remarks on Twitter, saying that “coronavirus does not discriminate.”

“Bigotry against people of Asian descent is unacceptable, un-American, & harmful to our COVID-19 response efforts,” the Massachusetts lawmaker wrote.

  • S. Representative Lois Frankel said on Twitter Wednesday that she was “disappointed, but unsurprised” at the White House’s decision to use xenophobic language during this global pandemic.

She urged the government to promote international cooperation instead of racism to combat the disease.

Public Policy Committee Chairman of the Committee of 100 Charlie Woo said in a statement that any attempt to ascribe the virus to one culture, ethnicity or country can only hinder the global effort to combat the epidemic.

“This crisis requires science, facts and clear language, not fear-mongering, finger-pointing and xenophobia by our public servants,” the statement said, quoted by the New York Times.

John C. Yang, president and executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a non-profit legal aid organization, told NBC Asian America that the U.S. administration’s words could have negative repercussions.

The usage of such racist terms has “led to a noticeable incline in hate incidents that we are seeing,” Yang was quoted by the NBC report. “I do think that there is a correlation,” he added.

“Rather than making mockery of the Chinese nation or calling the virus ‘made in China’, the world must learn from the miraculous measures China has adopted to defeat this invisible enemy,” said Yasir Masood, former director of media and publications at the Center of Excellence of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

The Pakistani political and international relations analyst believed that such smearing tactics against China or any other country in these depressing times are not conducive to global harmony.

Epidemics have taken millions of lives throughout history and can wreak havoc at a moment’s notice, Masoon said, adding “epidemics and natural disasters have no boundaries and they do not announce their arrival.”

China has achieved great success in its fight against COVID-19, and now it is extending help to other countries to defeat this pandemic, he said.

“In this difficult time of confusion and dismay, the world must work collaboratively to end this pandemic rather than tossing political rhetoric,” he added.

Regarding the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Pakistan, the analyst said the country has a lot to learn from the exemplary steps taken by China to defeat the virus.

Masood, who was in China when the disease broke out in Wuhan, said the government’s efforts to raise awareness by calling on the public to be socially responsible to stem the virus’ spread is commendable.

“The sterilization of public places and collective quarantine were strictly adopted in the country and the suspected cases were taken care of,” he said.

Praising the Chinese government and its people for their resilience, discipline, and unity during the outbreak, he said China’s measures could be followed.

US spin on virus’ name condemned

Some US politicians attempting to politicize the novel coronavirus have come under fire as officials, scientists and experts on international relations warned that such stigmatization would undermine international solidarity in containing the pandemic.

The warning came after some senior US officials connected the virus with China. They include US President Donald Trump, who described the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” on social media and a White House media briefing, although Director Robert Redfield of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said using the word Chinese as a way to describe the coronavirus is wrong.

On Monday, Yang Jiechi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, told US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that Beijing strongly opposes and condemns certain politicians’ slanderous stigmatization of China as it fights the novel coronavirus pneumonia outbreak.

Yang, who is also director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, said any attempt by the US to discredit China will not succeed and any act that undermines the interests of the country will be resolutely fought by the Chinese side.

During telephone conversations with the foreign ministers of Singapore, Russia and the Netherlands as well as Indonesia’s coordinating minister for maritime affairs and investment on Wednesday, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said that China strongly opposes labeling the virus with the name of a country as it is disgraceful, immoral and unfair.

Such a move will divide the international community, Wang said, adding that it does not help efforts to unite countries in the battle against the spread of the pandemic, nor will it contribute to the disease prevention and control efforts in the US.

The three foreign ministers also expressed their opposition to the stigmatization of China.

The World Health Organization gave the pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus the generic name COVID-19 on Feb 11 to avoid stigmatizing a country or particular group, choosing a name that doesn’t refer to a geographical location, animals, an individual or a group of people.

WHO officials have warned against calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus”, saying that it could lead to racial profiling.

At a media briefing on COVID-19 at the headquarters of the United Nations body on Wednesday, Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergencies program, said: “It’s really important that we be careful in the language we use.

“The pandemic of influenza in 2009 originated in North America, and we didn’t call it the ‘North American flu’,” Ryan said. “So it’s important that we have the same approach when it comes to other viruses.”

“This is a time for solidarity, this is a time for facts, this is a time to move forward together, to fight this virus together. There is no blame in this,” he said.”All we need now is to identify the things we need to do to move forward quickly, with speed and to avoid any indication of ethnic or other associations with this virus.”

London Breed, the mayor of San Francisco, said references to the virus that causes COVID-19 as a “Chinese virus” are “offensive and counterproductive”.

“There is never an excuse for xenophobia. Coronavirus is a global pandemic that is affecting all of us, and it requires all of us to listen to public health experts and respond together,” Breed said in a statement.

Zhong Nanshan, the prominent Chinese expert on respiratory diseases, said at a news conference on Wednesday that although Wuhan, the hardest-hit Chinese city, first reported the outbreak, there is no evidence that the city is the source of the virus that caused COVID-19.

A lot more needs to be understood about COVID-19 and international cooperation is important in fields such as drug development, he said.

Scientists have discovered through clinical records and genetic tracing that the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan may not be the source of the virus after all, according to the journal Lancet and other follow-up studies.

The market might just serve as a jumping-off point where the virus emerged and began infecting a wider public, but who or what brought the virus to the market in the first place remained unknown, scientists noted.

The Foreign Ministry has reiterated on many occasions that China believes that the origin of the virus is a matter of science which requires a professional and science-based assessment.

Li Haidong, an international relations professor at China Foreign Affairs University, said that playing the blame game might help politicians divert public attention from their own lackluster response to the outbreak and alleviate social pressure in the short run, but people will eventually catch on.

“Those who are pointing fingers now will soon realize this pandemic is a common challenge that must be addressed through honest and constructive collaboration,” Li said.

John Ross, former director of economic and business policy for the mayor of London, said in an article that through the determined fight against the virus, China created a window of opportunity of almost two months for the rest of the world before the coronavirus began to significantly spread outside the nation, but this time was wasted.

Instead of learning the positive lessons of China’s ability to control the virus, the US government and the Western media engaged in anti-China propaganda, said Ross, a senior fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China.

“The bitter truth is that people in the West now face a medical, human and economic disaster due in significant part to this anti-China propaganda,” he added.

What works against the virus?

Editor’s note: March 19 marked the first time that China has recorded zero new domestic cases of COVID-19 since the country implemented strict and sweeping quarantine measures to contain the spread of the virus. Decisive measures bring China one step closer to the end of the battle against the new coronavirus. Meanwhile, every country is now testing its own approach to beat this common enemy.

Sober up, Covid-19 respects no national borders, no social bounds, no political systems and no cultural values. It hits us just as hard. It levels the world.

Facing the pandemic, it is not what happened matters, it is how we respond.

For almost a month it infected thousands in Wuhan in a day, and every hospital bed was occupied, now empty beds and closed wards in the city. How did China make it?

It is nothing new, but it is worthy to know.

According to an initial WHO report, an infected person appears to spread it to an average of 2.6 people. After 10 generations of transmission, with each taking five or six days, that one initial case has spawned 3,500 in matter of days. And that is what the world is seeing.

What China did is to break the cycle by human intervention, the scale unprecedented in history. “Extreme”, “draconian” and “aggressive”, these are the words used to describe China’s response. Now people have come to terms with the new norm: lockdown.

Some people say, isn’t that a violation of individual rights? Actually the balance between individual rights and public safety is always an ever-changing equation. After 9/11, all the airports in the world began to impose draconian safety checks on passengers and people accepted it because we traded a little of our freedom for the greater good of the public.

China imposed the largest and most draconian quarantine in history. Factories shut, public transport stopped and people stayed indoors. By doing that, it flattened the curve, on one hand China avoided many millions of cases and tens of thousands of deaths. On the other, it stretched out the time and make the hospitals restaffed and less strained. This is exactly what Europe and America should know.

But public policy needs both ends to agree, the decision makers and the decision takers. Quarantine is indeed extreme and extremely restrictive. It needs the people in lockdown to be honest and cooperative. I think what the people of Wuhan did was exceptional. They had the courage, tenacity and resilience to stay housebound for days, weeks and months. Most viewed the quarantine as a civic duty. And that is why it worked.

Public health methods are universal. They either work or they don’t. We are all human beings. Our epidemiology is the same, but we have different economies, demographics and sociologies. Facing a global pandemic, every nation needs a new contract signed between its politicians, businesses and the public.

Desperate times ask desperate measures. This is a desperate time. And we should not put politics ahead of public health, now more than ever.  The new coronavirus has been claimed by ideologues. Donald Trump said it justified tighter border control, Bernie Sanders linked it to free healthcare. In Britain, the health officials prefer a soft-handed approach while in Singapore every infection case is followed and dealt with. Bit by bit, every country is testing its methods through trial and error. Some paid a high price and some set a high bar.

We should all move ahead with humility, there is no decision without trade-offs, and most of all: there is nothing without skin in the game. And now the whole world has learnt or is learning to play.

Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai says U.S. started coronavirus blame game, refutes cover-up accusation

Chinese Ambassador to the United States Cui Tiankai said it is Washington that first started the coronavirus blame game, as the war of words between the two giant economies continued. 

It is “very harmful” for diplomats and journalists to speculate the origin of COVID-19, it is a job for the scientists, Cui said in an interview with AXIOS and HBO on March 17, calling on Washington’s politicians to stop spreading conspiracy theories.

The interview script was made public on March 23 on the website of the Chinese Embassy.

U.S. President Donald Trump called the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a “Chinese virus” for the first time on his Twitter account on March 16 and has repeated the rhetoric since then.

Speaking to reporters at a White House daily press briefing on March 18, Trump said there was nothing wrong with calling the coronavirus a “Chinese virus,” stressing that it had originated in China.

Trump’s comments came after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian’s tweet that suggested the U.S. army might have brought the virus to Wuhan in October 2019.

When was asked about spokesman Zhao’s words, Cui said he is not in the position to interpret Zhao’s words.

He said his position was “all along” that it is dangerous to spread rumors, referring to one interview he did in February 9 with CBS’s program “Face the Nation.”

In that interview, he responded to an assertion from Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas who said the coronavirus could have come from China’s biological warfare program. Cui said the accusation was “absolutely crazy.”

“Of course, there are all kinds of speculation and rumors,” he said. “There are people who are saying that these viruses are coming from some military lab, not of China, maybe in the United States. How can we believe all these crazy things?”

In the March 17 interview, Cui said the conspiracy “was first initiated [in the U.S.],” and insisted that certain politicians stop speculating as scientists would eventually discover the origin of the virus. 

‘No cover-up’

Cui firmly rejected accusations that the Chinese government tried to cover up the outbreak and stop people from getting information about people-to-people transmission in the early stages of the epidemic. 

“It’s not a process of covering up… It is a process of discovering this new kind of virus, to do a good job in identifying the virus, know more about it, learn more about the routes of transmission and how to respond,” Cui said. 

As soon as China deciphered important data, such as the genetic sequencing of the novel coronavirus, it shared “everything” with the World Health Organization, and alerted other countries, Cui said. 

China imposed strict travel restrictions and quarantine measures across the country to contain the outbreak, he said, adding that with the “resolute and determined efforts, the number of cases in China is coming down significantly” in the past 55 days.

As of March 22, China’s Hubei Province, the epicenter of the outbreak, reported no new cases for the past five days. Meanwhile, 39 new cases were registered, all of which originating from abroad, official data showed.

When was asked about the deceased Dr. Li Wenliang, who tried to warn his colleagues about COVID-19 in late December and was later asked to sign a letter of admonition, Cui said information was distorted, as Dr. Li was consulting his colleagues about an unclear virus, not trying to alert the public.

“Somehow this piece of information got outside of his circle of fellow doctors and it certainly caused concern,” Cui said, adding that his case was still under investigation.

Two days after the interview with AXIOS, China’s National Supervisory Commission concluded Li’s investigation on March 19, saying local police had “issued improper instructions” and followed “irregular” law enforcement procedures regarding Dr. Li. 

The Wuhan Public Security Bureau later admitted the “inappropriate handling” and made an official apology to his family.

The police also revoked the admonition letter, in which he was accused of “spreading rumors.”

What happens next?

Cui said China will make sure the infected cases are reduced to zero in the coming days and focus on developing drugs and vaccines.

China will continue to work with the WHO and help other countries hit by COVID-19, he added.

According to China’s Foreign Ministry, the country has offered assistance to 82 countries as well as the WHO and the African Union. These medical supplies included test kits, masks and protective clothing.

It has also sent medical experts to Iran, Iraq, Italy and Serbia to help local doctors to contain the outbreak.

Cui also praised the help China received from American companies. “We are also very grateful at the initial stage so many countries came to our help, including the American people, American businesses, American institutions, American specialists. Some of them came to China at a very early stage, some of them joined the WHO expert team.”

The ambassador said that China and the U.S. stood at a “critical juncture” and that efforts from both sides are needed to build a healthy bilateral relationship. Both countries have no alternative than cooperation with each other, he said.

The two countries should “reject any attempt to stir up confrontation or even start a new Cold War,” and both sides should develop a relationship based on coordination, cooperation and stability, he stressed.

MY GENERATION HAS FAILED AND BETRAYED GHANA

What should occupy the minds of the younger generation is how the government is addressing the national interest implications of the COVID-19 AND G5 pandemic and its socio-economic importance. What is the future in the present recognising that Vodafone controls the telecommunications backbone of the country and that Vodafone and Huawei are at the forefront of global 5G rollout? My generation betrayed the nation by selling Ghana Telecom to the British. ECG has been sold and likewise power transmission and distribution. We do not control our Energy backbone with the exception of VRA which is also under threat of privitisation. Energy and telecommunications must serve the national interest like water and food plus the air we breathe.
The younger generation must ask my generation a lot of questions and demand answers in relation to how far are decisions of my generation securing the future safety, security and advancement of our society. Do the younger generation want external interests to control our energy, water, food, telecommunications, air and rail transport needs? What is the meaning of our sovereign independence then? What is government for then? What is the value of government then to the rest of society? What is the executive governing? What is the legislature governing? What is the judiciary governing? If these three arms of government and their army of civil/public servants, experts and consultants cannot by themselves manage the provision and delivery of vital needs of the country then what are they in power for? Are they in power to smoothen the path of foreign control and exploitation of our vital resources and common wealth? Is this not colonialism revisited? Is this not what Nkrumah identified and exposed as “neocolonialism”? Can the younger generation see those in government as neocolonial agents and “middlemen”?
Vodafone corrupted the executive and legislature. Airbus corrupted the executive and legislature. The judiciary is quite prone to corruption. The function of government spells corruption. Government and its three arms have corrupted every aspect of our national life to the point of privitising corruption as the private property of the ruling elites of the Dukadaya and their criminal entrepreneurial cartels.
To put it forcefully, the “state capture” of my generation has been to service foreign interest and not the national interest. The executive holds the head of Mother Ghana for the legislature and judiciary to spread the legs of our dear Mother to be gang raped. This is what is going on and the younger generation must not be accepting of this neocolonial order of gyrating inflation, unemployment, debt-trap, poverty and underdevelopment – all government sponsored.
The younger generation have a struggle to wage and this struggle is TOWARDS NEOCOLONIAL FREEDOM. Nkrumah explains this battle in his book, NEOCOLONIALISM: THE LAST STAGE OF IMPERIALISM. Nkrumah again provides the battle plan in his HANDBOOK OF REVOLUTIONARY WARFARE and also CLASS STRUGGLE IN AFRICA. A posthumous compendium, REVOLUTIONARY PATH, was published by PANAF. Nkrumah has provided the weapons of and for neocolonial destruction. What is left is the intellectual preparation of the younger generation to seize the time and take the country back from the corrupt and corrupting hands and minds of my generation as represented by the ruling elites of the Dukadaya (the Tsikatas/Rawlings/Ahwois/Nadaas/Marfos/Gabbys/KenOforiAttahs Mafioso Cabal and their criminal entrepreneurial cartels).
BY FREEING THEMSELVES FROM DUKADAYA STATE CAPTURE THE YOUNGER GENERATION WOULD BE RESCUING MOTHER GHANA FROM RAPE.
Mother Ghana is bleeding to death as her veins and blood vessels are ripped apart by the assault of excavators that only the ruling elite can procure. And now our sacred Mother Earth, ASASE YAA, has been defiled by indiscriminate minning and deforestation. Our vital ecosystem and waterbodies are being despoiled at incomparable rate. The pace of environmental destruction in Ghana is quite frightening and what is sad is that it is the Forestry Commission that gives entry permits for speculators to penetrate the forest reserves to rape. And come to think of it that the Forestry Commission is the mandated Conservator of Forests and Wildlife.
The fish indeed rots from the head. And the younger generation know that the three arms of government are rotten and that they govern to “create, loot and share” at the expense of the rest of society. If it is agreed that government and the institutions that underpin it must be overhauled then it is the Dukadaya Mafioso Cabal and their criminal entrepreneurial cartels that have to be removed first.
What are the younger generation waiting for? IT IS REDEMPTION TIME. NKRUMAISM IS THE REDEMPTION SONG.
©Addai-Sebo

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