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commonwealth of Nations and African Nations Printable Version PRINTABLE VERSION
by fatoki taiye timmy, Nigeria Mar 27, 2007
Human Rights   Opinions
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The Commonwealth of Nations comprises of about 53 independent sovereign states of the world. Some of are among the richest, while most are among the most wretched, and are poverty stricken. The Commonwealth of Nations which has about one-third of the world population-with a population of a bit below 2 billion people. Its objectives include among others, the advancement of democracy, human rights, promotion of sustainable economic growth and social development within its member’s state and other countries. But one tends to wonder how possible it is to achieve these in the face of neglect of poor member states, especially its Africa members, by the same organization that could have done better.
This led one to question the motive behind its existence, if majority of Commonwealth of Nations members are still in the same socio-economic status years after establishment. One tends to quarry its usefulness to the people Africa majority of whom daily life is full of miseries, poverty, lack of good education, depleting health infrastructure, and of recent the scourge of HIV and AIDS, which has been taking lives daily across the continent. The commonwealth of nations has no other time but now, to fight the pandemic seriously in all ways, before it eats up the very people who are members of the commonwealth of nations.

Today, the most threatening problem confronting the commonwealth of nations is that of HIV and AIDS, or how else could one describe ‘most threatening’ if nine of the most heavily infected nations in the world are found in such an organization. Most of the HIV/AIDS heavily infected nations are its Africa members. Even India, a very strong member of the commonwealth is a leading nation of people living with HIV and AIDS. It is therefore very timely for Commonwealth of Nations to take a very drastic action to this rapidly spreading global problem that is eating into every fabric of our society. And one good way of doing this is to fight poverty head on. Another is a very good research into the vaccine that could alter its spread, as well as facilitating the provision of cheap drug for ‘poor’ people living with HIV and AIDS among its members. It is of pertinent interest to know that the sub-Sahara Africa has so far recorded the greatest losses to AIDS, with a record of 84% of all AIDS death (UNAIDS/WHO1999).The commonwealth of nations should be reminded that a growing continent like Africa that’s just taken steps to build its economic growth and development, needs huge support and assistance, in order for it to reach a satisfactory level of socio-economic status.
The Commonwealth of Nation should come up with a decisive action plan with immense political determination coupled with openness, and strong socio-cultural, political and economic support. As the commonwealth celebrate yet another year of existence, it should wax stronger with a strong and sustained commitment to heal the Africa continents of its wounds before it becomes scars for the rest of the world. Up till today, Africa, with a big chunk of Commonwealth of Nations membership still record thousands of deaths resulting from HIV and AIDS. One tends to wonder what our affiliation with a body like Commonwealth of Nations has achieved. If the majority of the 68 million people that will be lost to the pandemic by 2020 would be from Africa, then no other time is the best time to act but now. The Commonwealth of Nations should take responsibility for more than 20 million people in need of drug to assuage their pain as people living with HIV and AIDS. This is the time to show that we are brothers, and not only for the rich members to wait and share our commonwealth, but also our common pain and suffering. The Commonwealth of Nations need not wait for more African lives to be lost before something is done. Our life as African is not less than that of other human from the rich commonwealth states. The gory tale of Africa today could be likened to what Carol Bellamy called “a nightmare world of children without parents, of classrooms without teachers, and of school without students, a place where grand parents outlived grandchildren and orphans are object of fear and abuse”. This could be likened to unnecessary neglect and gross carelessness by the rich members of the Commonwealth of Nations. One would tends to conclude that if the rich nations of the world-Canada and Britain inclusive could raise over 100 billion dollars to fight terrorism at a G8 conference. Then it amounts to a deliberate negligence and moral lapses on their part to forget about the poor people of Africa who are daily been hunted by HIV and AIDS pandemic. The Africa continent should not be treated like an alien continent. We should remember that no one is safe until all are saved.
As the people of the commonwealth of Nations celebrates another year of togetherness, the rich nation of the commonwealth should not fold its arm and wait for the future to see what would happen to Africa in the next 20 years, when almost all our productive age group would have been decimated, and more children‘ll have been dying everyday in their thousands. The moral void should be bridged now. As members of the Commonwealth of Nations, the right time to share and proffer solution to our common sufferings in Africa is now. It is until we share our burdens and sufferings together, that we can truly be brothers from different nations sharing a commonwealth. Then can be truly proud to be members of the common wealth of nations.

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fatoki taiye timmy

Fatoki Taiye Timmy is a graduate of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. Where He was a Student union leader, advocating for a better welfare for the Nigerian students, and seeking a brighter future for the nation’s young people, especially with regards to information on how students welfare are carried out. Fatoki Taiye Timmy is a follower of young people, he has led them in various capacities including being the chairman of the Best supporters Club [De-whoops] in any Nigerian University. Since leaving the university, and serving the nation through the one year compulsory youth service scheme [NYSC], he has been involved in outreaches, trainings and program implementation in adolescent reproductive and sexual health, STIs/HIV and AIDS and integrated youth development, including entrepreneurial /skills development for youth. These have earned him skills and experiences in health and youth development project design, implementation and design.
He has been working with youth-led and youth focused organizations focusing on sexuality health, child rights [especially the girl and the differently able child] and youth development in Nigeria, using rights based approaches through advocacy, sensitization, training and policy participation and related integrated approaches. As a result of his campaign at the national level for a better deal for the Nigerian youth/child-focusing on health, youth in community development [through participation and involvement], leadership development, volunteering, civic education and the rights of the Nigerian child, he was selected to take part in capacity building for youths involved in human/child rights issues in Nigeria [2003] representing the interest of the Nigerian child, reviewing the human rights of the Nigerian child for the better , sponsored by OSIWA west Africa.
Fatoki Taiye Timmy is a two times national Essay and Arts awards winner. He was also part of the final drafting of the Nigerian Youth Policy agenda in 2004, which is a document policy that takes full responsibility for the development of the Nigerian youth. In the same year Fatoki Taiye Timmy was chosen as a supervisor of the Nigerian National Youth Exchange between the southwest and north central states of Nigeria.An experienced child/youth Rights Advocate; a former senator of the National Association of Nigerian students –NANS [Africa’s largest association], and a two time national Essay and Art Award winner, Fatoki Taiye Timmy is a member of various youth coalitions and network at the national, regional and global level. Based on his experience and good knowledge of the issues affecting the African child, He has presented papers on the challenges face by children in the third world countries and the influence of global politics at both national [at various youth fora and higher institutions of learning] and international scene, most notably at the Voices of Africa-Voices of Resistance international conference at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and the G8 ALTERNATIVES summit held at the University of Aberdeen, also in the United Kingdom in the year 2005.He has also worked with some state’s children’s parliament to provide a better avenue for their advocacy on improving the child’s rights through better state legislation and adherence to policy formulated. With memorandum presented in two states house of assembly [Osun and Nasarawa state, Nigeria] in protection of the Nigerian child with references to various international treaties signed by the country that guarantees such rights, one state [Nasarawa state] has since signed it into a bill, while it’s in progress in Osun state.
Fatoki Taiye Timmy was a Project Supervisor for an International Youth exchange between Nigeria and the United Kingdom [Global Xchange], supported by the British Council, Voluntary Service Overseas and Life Vanguards.
Fatoki Taiye Timmy is a Program officer [Integrated youth development] Life Vanguards and the Editor Youth Alive magazine respectively. A foundation member of the of the Nigerian youth Social forum, of which one of our aims is to make sure that all Nigerian youths/child have the basic leadership training needed to become an effective leader through total youth development and participation. He is an Alumnus of the Africa Leadership forum Otta.FAtoki taiye Timmy is also Development analyst for the African Regional Initiative.
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