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The Frederick Douglass Organization

Access Africa

US G8 African Coalition Launching

My great great grandfather often said "I would unite with any man (or woman) to do right; and no man (or woman) to do wrong." What we are about to embark upon is definitely the right course of action. People throughout Africa need our assistance in developing strategies to insure that debt reduction by the Global Eight will have positive impacts on infrastructure, education, economic developmet and health care.

I am truly honored to be a co-chairman of the US G8 Africa Coalition. It is imperative that we stand united while providing oversight to the development of strategies to insure effective and successful implementation of the program to provide debt relief to selected African countries. Benin, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia. The names of the African nations involved are melodious. And there are more to come. Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Sao Tome and Sierra Leone.

I love saying the names of these African nations.

We must all become international in our thinking, Africans and people of African descent, particularly in the United States of America, as we formulate synergistic approaches to making Africa one of the world's greatest financial superpowers. Indeed, the continent of Africa has vast untapped human and mineral resources; and yet there are widespread problems involving aids, underdeveloped infrastructure; access to education; underemployment and other social ills. But I remain optimistic about the future we are creating for Africa's children and their children and their progeny. I'm inspired by the vast array of talent and enthusiasm in this room. I attended the U.S. - Africa Business Summit 2005, coordinated by Stephen Hayes and the Corporate Council on Africa, just last week and I came away inspired by the positive words of African presidents, diplomats and citizens, as well as people were lining up to do business in Africa. I'm inspired by the dynamic leaders like Dr. Cindy Courville I've met while attending forums on Africa hosted by the Whitaker Group, headed by my co-chair, the forward thinking, phenomenal Rosa Whitaker. And I'm proud to be counted in the leadership ranks of the US G8 Africa Coalition which includes brilliant people like Bishop Charles Blake, Ludwick Hayden, Robert Ahomka Lindsay and Peter McPherson. We have a lot of work to do, but we have a tremendous talent pool to make the African Debt Relief programs succeed. We must also seek ways to provide assistance to those African countries that have been able to make payments on their debts, but that need to take their available capital and invest in their infrastructure, educational facilities, education and other needs. We must succeed, we will succeed.

Next, FDIV reminded those present about the level of work that needs to be done by quoting from his ancestor's “West India Emancipation Speech” which fetures the often repeated words “If there is no struggle, there is no progress”.

- Frederick Douglass IV Commentary
Charles Sumner School, Washington, DC
June 30, 2005