Do West Africans have particular reason to help Haitians?

Senegal’s President Abdoulaye Wade is telling Haitians they are welcome to come and live in West Africa, and ‘return to their roots’. Do you agree that a connection remains several centuries since slaves were transported from Africa to the Caribbean? If you’re in west Africa would you be glad to see Haitians arrive?

32 Responses to “Do West Africans have particular reason to help Haitians?”

  1. 1 Nigel
    January 18, 2010 at 15:01

    People who live in their ancestral homelands have no idea what it is like to be two people at the same time. One living in the land of their birth and the other living away from what their parents and grandparents once held as near and dear to them. The president of Sengal obviously has this understanding and I’m sure that his offer will resonate with many Haitians.

  2. 2 dan
    January 18, 2010 at 15:43

    Looking at the practical aspects of this proposal it appears to be a worthwhile proposal.
    The Haitian infrastructure, such as it was, is destroyed.
    No clean water.
    No water treatment plants
    No sanitary sewers
    No electricity
    No shelter
    No hospitals
    No medical facilities
    No food
    No transportation
    Blocked streets
    No Government
    No Police
    Law & order breaking down
    The Island has been destroyed and it makes sense for people to migrate to where they may live/restart their lives while the Island is cleared and restored nafter which Haitians can make informed decisions as to their future.

  3. 3 Nengak
    January 18, 2010 at 15:44

    Yeah I think so. The Haitians are our brothers and sister. Beyond having West African roots, Haiti has really presserved its West African heritage and culture.
    It will be good if West African Governements could send in some coordinated help. I think Nigeria has repeated the Senegalese offer too.

  4. 4 Ivan Mark Radhakrishnan
    January 18, 2010 at 15:51

    Is there a hint of racism in Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade’s offer?

    • 5 Nengak
      January 18, 2010 at 16:48

      @ Ivan:
      Only hints of camaraderie. When someone is your brother, they are your brother not because they share your skin colour, but they share your skin colour because they are your brother.
      Except if there is a hint of racism in my love for my blood brother.

  5. 6 Nick
    January 18, 2010 at 16:01

    Yes they do. We are all humans on one planet. What a wonderful act. I think the question should be altered somewhat. As far as I am aware President Abdoulaye Wade Is not in bed with any cancerous multinational corporation like the majority of our so called world leaders.
    Interesting fact.. the Hopi prophecies state…many of the tribes will have a chance to come out of the cities and return to there land. Grab that chance. Get as far away from the warmonger USA as you possibly can.

  6. January 18, 2010 at 16:03

    A wonderful idea! Wish someone had offered it during Katrina too.

  7. 8 Phillip Kihumuro
    January 18, 2010 at 16:21

    Please, they are welcome and I support Pres. Wade

  8. 9 patti in cape coral
    January 18, 2010 at 16:48

    A particular reason? I don’t know, but it sounds like a very generous offer. I wonder how many people will take him up on his offer, and if they would be free to return once Haiti’s situation improves, if it does. It is very hard to leave the place you have known your whole life.

    January 18, 2010 at 17:47

    Hey! This is utter political posturing. While the idea looks like a generosity ovature, lets not forget that we need people in Haiti for the reconstruction. We should not lure them outside when they already are continually suffering a brain drain. All well-to-do Haitians are now living in America and elsewhere and the nation is left with less educated masses and outsiders. What polticians ought to do instead is to lobby for good governance and equitable redistribution of resources in Haiti and not encourage further diaspora. There should be a government that reflects the wishes of majority as well out-reaching on the less unfortunate ones. Away with politics of patronage and the US outht to spearhead conditions necessary for Haiti citizens to go back home instead of encouraging free assylum. What is the UN doing camping there indefinitely?

  10. 11 jens
    January 18, 2010 at 18:12


    you surely do not mean the same usa, which is throwing his weight behind the disaster relieve effort.

  11. 12 JanB
    January 18, 2010 at 19:04

    What exactly would Haitians gain by moving from Haiti to Senegal? I mean, Senegal is just as poor as lawless (they even have active Al-Qaida cells).

    Sounds to me like this is a prestige project (I wonder if the elections are near in Senegal).
    All Senegal wants is the educated and richer Haitians. The riots in South Africa show us that “African cameraderie” is thrown out of the window as soon as poor immigrants start competing for jobs with the locals.

  12. 13 billy wachakana
    January 18, 2010 at 19:08

    I strongly disagree with Athur Njuguna. before the earth quake Haiti was already in a mess. these people will continue suffering unless other governments help them to abandon the island. the best place for them is Africa. all African countries must take them in. not only west Africa, they will adjust easily coz they are already used to poverty which is part of our continent. the Haitians being in Haiti are already a diaspora since their original home is Africa.

  13. 14 Lloyd Hand
    January 18, 2010 at 20:38


    I think this question is unbelievably wrong – do west africans have a reason to help Haitians? We all have a reason to help Haitians! The very question raises suspicion, intreague, hidden agendas etc and encourages distrust and discussion on problems yet to be discovered. Why isn’t this wonderful gesture on behalf of Senegal simply taken at face value – a warm, humanitarian offer?

  14. 15 jens
    January 18, 2010 at 20:46

    it is somehow rather bewildering that puorte rico is doing OK and is on the same island………cannot be the location then.

    • 16 Bert
      January 19, 2010 at 00:39

      Dominican Republic. True, the press has not reported much in that regard.

      The Senegal offer is interesting. Not sure whether conditions there are better than they were in Haiti pre-earthquake, but they must be better there as of now. I don’t think this would exacerbate any “brain drain” effect. I expect brain drain destinations to be in the US and Europe, mostly. The problem I see would be, is the Senegalese economy so strong as to be able to absorb all the new immigrants? Or will this create the sort of tensions we see in South Africa, for example, with respect to Zimbabwan immigrants?

  15. 17 robin rattansingh
    January 18, 2010 at 21:18

    This is one good option haitians are faced with,this is a positive sign i am sure that west africa have all good intensions, maybe they cannot give a couple hundred million dollars for relieve as our friends in the u.s but as some would say “mi casa es su casa”.STOP WITH THE NEGATIVES.

  16. 18 kpelly hezekiah
    January 18, 2010 at 21:37

    President Wade has summed up what we do in africa. we don’t confront difficulties and problems when they occur with the view of overcoming them and using the vital lessons we learnt in the process to guide us in the future. We turn away from difficult situations and seek solace elsewhere. This is why we are leaving our countries on the continent in droves, seeking “greener pastures” in europe, usa, china, etc.
    I urge my haitian brothers to stay put in their country, rise to the challenge of/and rebuild their country. They owe it as a duty to their founding fathers and their children including the generations unborn. God bless them all in this noble quest.

  17. 19 Guillermo
    January 18, 2010 at 23:41

    The offer of returning to the ancestral home could be fine. But haitians were born in America. Maybe some would be tempted to return but the majority are used to their land, environment, way of living. Although they are extremely poor USA is 45 minutes away. Although it is overpopulated the soil is of them. 70 dictators along it´s political life, can attest that haitians have a solid root to stay or to go, always to USA. It is a queer paradox that a french colony of slaves has not seen the best of life.

  18. 20 Sanousi Sesay
    January 19, 2010 at 00:55

    This is clear manifestation of African generosity and hospitality. Not even the rich and poweful countries will extend such offer to the people of Haiti. Despite Africa’s econimic and social problems , it is doing what it can to sympathise with and help the people of Haiti. Sierra Leone my native country has donated $100.000 to help the people of Haiti. So yes, Africa and west Africa in Particular has a reason and obligation to help the people Haiti.

  19. 21 Abram
    January 19, 2010 at 04:34

    First, former West Africans invaded Southern Africa, and almost eliminated the indigenous San people, and later, they sold their children to Europeans and Arabs, and then, the Haitians, unlike neighboring Dom Rep and Cuba, didn’t want to abandon their West African heritage, went on to revitalize their genocidal instinct, and waged a brutal civil war against their own Mulatto (Mixed-race) brothers and sisters, and now, Senegal invites “the lost Children of Africa” back to Africa — before making any apologies for the historical misdeeds of West African slave traders. I feel sorry for the Haitians!

  20. 22 Idris Dangalan
    January 19, 2010 at 05:45

    we deserved to helps because our continent benefited from some many extenal assistant like disaster in Somalia, Darfur and on poverty reduction, HIV/AIDS. Even though countries like Angola and Nigeria were busy on nation cup and mr.president health issue, G8 and UN put our (Africa) effort on your record.

  21. 23 Negus
    January 19, 2010 at 08:25

    Repatriation, Jah Rastafari!!

  22. 24 pmose
    January 19, 2010 at 11:53

    you need to look a little deeper than the race /colour/religion one country will help another but there is always a hook and you dont have to look to far ,there are always
    some resourses that the country has and help is traded for that resource.

    take a look at indoneisia why has there all ways been civil war ,it has nothing much to do with religion and more to do the very large gas field of shore.

    it has been know that a world power will start a war in a country by supplying weapons and money ,the price is that they either want the resorces and or a militry base there .

    the words resorces are running out and there are ther are going to be more wars
    and more countries who cant pay back the help, the price is there resorces:


  23. 25 TomK in Mpls
    January 19, 2010 at 19:45

    That was a poorly stated nicety. Welcoming immigrants from a disaster is noble. But repatriation? Just a little arrogant I would say.

  24. 26 robin rattansingh
    January 20, 2010 at 14:34

    I am quite shock actually to see that people are now realizing what has been happening for 30 odd years now.it’s about time.Smaller countries demise = world powers interest,sharks in a pond!

  25. 27 mimi
    January 22, 2010 at 08:45

    i agree with mr wade and congretulate him, welcome back to live in their ancestral homelands, not only to ouest africa but every were to the africa they’re welcome because all of us are human being in one planet,
    what wonderful proposition this is” the African solidarity”, we’re one familly wich call AFRICA as Aimé cesar said la “negritude” this is our roots.

  26. January 23, 2010 at 12:48

    President Wade has opened an interesting debate with his invitation. Haitians live in direct proximity to highly earthquake-prone tectonic plates. They should have the choice to live anywhere in the world .Unfortunately, it is only a relatively poor country like Senegal which has made such a generous offer.

  27. 29 Alassan Jallow
    January 23, 2010 at 17:08

    Yes I think they have, because both are from the same place above all both experienced the human tragedy caused by human beings, I mean here slavery and negligence. The world is suprised not because of the crulety of the mother nature but also because of the crulety of her children who left their brothers in Haiti in this abject poverty!

  28. 30 scmehta
    January 24, 2010 at 08:01

    Although it’s an emotional response/offer from him, yet it appears to bespeak of regionalism. Though it is nice and natural to remember one’s ‘roots’, but it’s not always wise or possible to go back to the ‘roots’ lock-stock-and-barrel; If that could be so, then all the tobacco-roots should go back to America.

  29. January 26, 2010 at 01:20

    I love the idea of helpping my people, but I don’t think location is the problem for us Haitiens. We suffer to musch already , relocation would be too much pain for us, because even if we are black like the west Africans we have diffrent culture, learning a new culture is not easy. I shoul know because my husband id from west Africa and i know how hard it is to learn a new culture. I just hope that God help us, because returning home would be good but not easy to leave the place that we use to. I feel sorry for me and for my people because we are lost on this earth.

  30. January 26, 2010 at 01:40

    thank you all , we really appreciate all the efforts made to save our poor people

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