This week we celebrated Nelson Mandela's 94th birthday and it is a time for us to reflect on the achievements of the great man. I was lucky enough to share a stage with him in Trafalgar Square in 2005 for Make Poverty History. Today we still share a belief that what we pledged to do that day can be achieved.
Children have lost their families and have been displaced and exploited as soldiers. They've lost their hopes for a better future. Women were raped and tortured and saw their own children and husbands slaughtered. People were starved to death while escaping war. A whole nation has been deformed by the sins of war.
I choose peace in the Nuba Mountains because I don't want to see families living in caves; I want Nubas to live in dignified conditions. And because I choose peace, I choose to revolt. I choose to join thousands of protestors demanding change in Sudan because only regime-change will bring peace to Sudan.
We - Sudan and South Sudan - shall remember that we've both suffered oppression and lived through woes, and that we are the survivors of the longest war in Africa. I see our separation as an opportunity for the new South Sudanese generations to determine their own destiny without being pulled back by war and chains of extremist dictatorships
Perhaps the difficulty is in shifting people's perceptions of these regions. Away from the stereotypes of poverty, corruption and violence, there is an alternative picture materialising in Africa. Anyone who does business there will tell you of the vibrant entrepreneurial spirit that goes hand in hand with a growing economic power.
When the people of South Sudan went to a referendum in January last year to decide on whether to split from Sudan, the result was decisive. Nearly 99% voted in favour of independence. After decades of instability, many Southern Sudanese hoped that separation from Sudan would end the country's troubles and pave the way for democratisation and essential development.
During the last three years alone, China has given more loans to developing countries, mainly in Africa, than the World Bank. Trade between China and the continent has increased in the last decade, more than six-fold to $120bn in 2011, making China Africa's largest trade partner. While China's renewed activities in Africa have been applauded by many African leaders as an alternative to Western economic and political dominance, not everyone is comfortable with the so-called "partnership". China's engagement with Africa is viewed with suspicion especially in the West, with some commentators and politicians describing it as a new imperialist.
Today we are squaring up to big oil. Adverts will appear in papers across Europe shining a spotlight on a few corporate lobbyists who are trying to water down a new law that could transform millions of lives. It's an unusual move for us. But it might be the most important campaign we have ever run. Here's why...