What can Africa do for Haiti? Senegal offers land.


Senegal’s president has offered free land and “repatriation” to people affected by the earthquake in Haiti. President Abdoulaye Wade said Haitians were sons and daughters of Africa since Haiti was founded by slaves, including some thought to be from Senegal.

Since Tuesday’s earthquake that hit Haiti to the ground, aid efforts have been flowing into the country but not many have been helped yet due to communication and transportation difficulties.

Countries like the US, EU countries have moved swiftly to offer help. For the past two days I have been wondering what can African countries do for Haiti people. Most of them cannot have that available money and resources to extend a hand. But I was really moved to see an offer from Wade which no other country at the aid forefront would ever grant-resettlement.

Haiti before the earthquake  had also experienced floods which left the country not even limping. Most Haitians lived under poor conditions. While the current aid efforts are on the food, shelter and rebuilding, it will take years before the country can ever build risk –reduction structures.

So is the Wade’s offer worth looking at and even supporting?  Even when there are still questions regarding what the Senegalese people think of the offer and whether the Haitians could be accepted by the locals, I find it worth a discussion.

Watching those pictures of heartbreaking scenes of  Haiti people trying to pull others  out of the rubble made me think this could happen back home. The pictures of helplessness of this black nation reminded of so many other helpless people I have seen back home. This beats my own helplessness from time to time.

But am still interested in what you think of Senegal’s proposal and what can Africa do for Haiti.

9 thoughts on “What can Africa do for Haiti? Senegal offers land.

  1. “If we are fighting and killing each other because of land then how would we accommodate others”
    Wades’ offering is good gesture. African countries are still lavishing in poverty. At times no different from Haiti. We cant offer anything monetary. But surely we can rebuild their country.
    We are a helpless at times. But the few who can help as individuals are the answer to this. I really do not see Africa doing much.
    Haitians have suffered for quite sometime and have endured so much. Africa has been no different.
    But there are individuals who can make a difference………….

  2. It is not a bad offer, but home is where the heart is, regardless of the circumstances. I think it is a good offer and heart felt but how practical is it? Africa can afford to give something, every little counts, the problem is we have our problems especially corruption, and wars in some countries. Having Haitians is not the problem, but once they are there, they would expect to settle in and have opportunities like jobs, schools, health care, etc.. Would they get these things and live a comfortable life once over there? It can’t be an easy option for anyone, immigration is not easy.

    The other thing is that people have really donated alot of money that could help, but you know how these charitable organisations can be with funds. Hopefully the donations will get there.

    It is a tough one and a heart breaking story. I share your helplessness.

  3. What can Ugandans do Rosebell? I have been thinking about this situation and it seems kind of a slap in the face to see white countries donate and we are not. We can afford it. But how do we help? Every little helps. Are Ugandans even aware of how this incident has been so devastating? How much of this disastor is shown in the news and reported in the way it should? We need to do something? But how?

  4. I think it will be a tremendous for some haitians…There are so many intellectuals among us and we can’t find jobs in Haiti, therefore, if we were offered a place wwhere we can show our skills and knowledge in a friendly nation, I truly believe these countries would not regret having made this decision…I myself as an haitian, would definitely go, because it will take a long time before we can move forward….President Abdoulaye Wade is a true humanitarian and a man of great courage…

    1. Edson, I don’t know what say on the situation in Haiti. The people of Haiti like you have a greater challenges of whether you think you can stay and make a difference or go out and try to earn a better living and help. Even at worst times, leaving ones home and family is not easy but if that move include your family it would be better. I know most African countries have high levels of unemployment but they are safe. Haiti was looted, the kind of looting that i don’t i have seen anywhere in the world. For now organisations have talked about aid but few are talking about justice. Issues like crippling a country and force it’s citizens into poverty therefore making it easy for natural disasters to take a toll,be are yet to discussed and i don’t know if they will be discussed.
      A professor of mine from Canada wrote a moving piece in the Globe and Mail find it here:

      The ‘solutions’ for the situation are still in the hands of foriegners who put Haiti where it is. Can they make a difference? I don’t think so. I wish you all the best and my sympathies.

  5. I think it’s a beautiful and fascinating gesture that, as all things innovative for their time, will be scoffed at. But if Mr. Wade is sincere and the follow-up is good, history will prove him right. This will not be the first Haiti-Africa diplomacy. In the 1960’s, the Congo brought over skilled and educated Haitians such as the family of filmmaker Raoul Peck who later did the film “Lumumba.” Africans in the New World have something to offer those in the Motherland and vice versa. Angola and the Brazil; U.S. and Liberia, and other migrations and exchanges have occurred and should continue. What is there to lose?

  6. Wonderful gesture by President Wade. I wish more African countries would follow suit. Basically, Africa is suffering from a brain drain but is rich in natural resources. If a percentage of the Haitians who are interested in this arrangement have technical skills and do go to Senegal, it can be a win-win for Senegal and Haiti.

    Still care must be taken in order to discourage any sort of elitism that may arise when our Haitian brothers and sisters go “home” to Africa. The Senegalese government must not be viewed by its people as giving extra privileges to Haitians as this will, over time, result in a sort of division between the native peoples and the new immigrants. For example when freed slaves from America returned to Liberia, they eventually evolved into the ruling elite of Liberia and it basically remains the same today.

    Good going President Wade, you are to be applauded.

  7. I dont know how it will work out but i think its a great offer in theory and principle. He is right we as africans of transatlantic slavery are sons and daughters of africa mainly West Africa. It does matter what the Senegalese civillian population thinks as far as are they them selves needy for the same land and resourses Mr Wade has offered the haitians. But as far as our right to Africa, no one can deny us that we survived through the rigors of slavery captured and sold right from africa. Africa is our home to. Not even an Africa from africa could tell me i didnt belong to africa, we would must have to fight. My parents came to america from Jamaica. My father is a Rasta Man who always held africa and african roots important. My grandmother was a Maroon. Some of our heros came straight from Africa (meaning they were not western born) with Ashanti/Akan names. Like Cujo and Johny Acongpong and Kwaku. The strange part about it is that a large majority of Western blacks like to distance them selves from africa and being african. Thats why i like the term african american. As long as that term is used no matter how you feel as being black, you will constantly be reminded of what the hell you are even if you dont like it….An African.

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