Wednesday 24 Sep 2014
With the eyes of the world on Africa during the World Cup, some of the continent's most distinguished statesman and women, members of Nelson Mandela's group The Elders, have spoken to the BBC's international news services – BBC World News and BBC World Service – in two reports to be broadcast on Saturday 12 June 2010.
In African Game Plan, broadcast on BBC World News at 0930 GMT, four African elders – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kofi Annan, Graca Machel and Lakhdar Brahimi – speak as a group for the first time.
Presenter Lyse Doucet talks exclusively to them about what the World Cup means for Africa, the state of democracy across the continent and what they feel must be done to bring greater democracy and hope to the next generation. The programme also features Archbishop Desmond Tutu playing football with his three fellow Africans as they discuss their "game plan" for Africa.
In Newshour, broadcast on BBC World Service at 1230 GMT, the four African elders are are joined by 80 students from across Africa for a conversation between the two generations about the future of the continent and to discover what the students can learn from the elders.
The programme hears Archbishop Tutu share the story of his personal struggle to free himself from racial stereotypes. Lakdhar Brahimi, who played a key role in the struggle for independence in Algeria, recognises the mistakes that were made and urges students not to be overwhelmed by stories of heroism, while Graca Machel is delighted by a student's idea of the need for an "African Einstein" – and finds one in a Ghanaian female student studying mathematics in South Africa.
Kofi Annan, meanwhile, is impressed by the knowledge and commitment already possessed by Africa's future leaders.
Quotations from both programmes are listed below. Please credit BBC World Service or BBC World News when using any of this material.
African Game Plan
Saturday 12 June
0930 and 2130 GMT
Sunday 13 June 0230 and 1530 GMT
On the subject of the World Cup, Archbishop Desmond Tutu says: "Even if people say maybe you could have used this money for building houses, human beings don't live on bread alone. You need things that inspire you that say to you "you can do it!"
Graca Machel says: "It means a lot for a continent that is really waking up to build itself as one big, old and young continent. I think we will come up as Africans strengthened in the way we see ourselves and the way we see our future."
Lakhdar Brahimi says: "We have been in the news because of the problems in our countries, so I think all Africans are extremely happy to see that we are going to be in the news for something good - something that is not only going to please us and help us in Africa but also be seen all over the world, that world that used to look at our problems and say 'poor Africa'."
Kofi Annan says: "Sometimes, one wonderful day in our lives is much better than years of misery. We remember that day. We remember how wonderful and how exciting it was and it also gives us hope."
On the subject of leadership and democracy, Kofi Annan says: "When you look around the continent and the generational change is taking place, you are going to see fewer and fewer African presidents who are going to be able stick around for 30-40 years. They are not kings".
Lakdhar Brahimi says: "I belong to the generation we are talking about that fought for independence - we won independence. And when I see our collective performance of the last few years, I think I am very very critical, self-critical. We haven't done as well as we should have."
Graca Machel says: "We want to move things to move quicker… and I am convinced that this continent will move much quicker."
Desmond Tutu says: "We are some of our sharpest critics of our people. We tell them: 'Look here, if you are a leader you must be accountable to the people'. But this is an evolutionary process. Look at how long it took you in the West".
Saturday 12 June
1230 GMT and 2030 GMT
Gertrude Kitongo, 22, Kenya/Uganda (Community and Individual Development Association, CIDA City Campus, Johannesburg) says: "If I was the president of any country, first of all I would say: 'Listen to our elders'. We must come back to our culture. This is what it was always about.
"You listen to your grandparents – they are wise and they advise better. I would also stop the African negative talk. We, the youth, are tired of hearing bad stuff. We young leaders know we are going to change Africa. We are going to make it better. How about if we come up with a generation that speaks very positively about Africa? That has a mentality like Obama that says - Yes we can!"
Lakdhar Brahimi says: "I belong to the generation of people who were there during the struggle for independence, who participated in the building of our states, sometimes successful, sometimes not so.
"I recognise that we made lots of mistakes. It's up to us to recognise them and correct them. It is your legitimate right and duty to make sure we behave or get out of the way. Wherever I go I say to the young, do not need to be overwhelmed by the stories you hear about the heroism of the generation who participated in the liberation of the country…of course plenty of heroism but it doesn't give us the right to life, to do whatever we want – especially to do the wrong things. This is more your continent than ours, it's up to you to make it a better place."
Zuki Mqolomba, 24, South Africa (Mandela Rhodes scholar) says: "We need to go back to the grassroots level and start building strong civil society movements... If we had stronger watchdogs, more institution to hold the state accountable, a strong media. People will actively say when the president is acting in way that brings the state and country into disrepute, people will say: 'Not in our name'. Not in our generation."
Kofi Annan says: "They're bright, they're alert, they're aware of what is happening around them. As leaders of tomorrow it's important they are becoming engaged so early. I am impressed by their knowledge of the impediments to development and democracy. They have reaffirmed my faith in youth and the youth of our continent."
Grace Machel says: "We had a brilliant idea from a young lady studying at an African institute for mathematical science. It's aiming to produce the next Einstein from Africa! Our schools have to develop African people with knowledge of indigenous languages – even African philosophy. It's important for them to be rooted in their continent and cultural heritage of where they were born so they can assert themselves in the global village with self confidence. Someone came up with the idea that schools in Africa are not always African schools."
Ivy Agnes Harrison, 26, Ghana (African Institute for Mathematical Sciences, AIMS, Cape Town), on the subject of being Graca's "next Einstein from Africa", says: "I hope to be, it's one of our main targets. We are working at it!"
BBC World Service International Publicity
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