East Africa Famine
Turkana women and their children wait to receive relief food supplies near the Kakuma Refugee Camp, Turkana District, northwest of Kenya's capital Nairobi, August 8, 2011.

The international charity Oxfam has launched an initiative to get Africans and their governments to donate more towards the drought and famine in the Horn of Africa as it complained the donations given by African countries so far are too small.

While many Western Countries and China have now pledged millions in aid, the AU has postponed its pledging conference.

Following a disappointed response from African countries Oxfam and the Africans Act 4 Africa (AA4A), have now threatened to name and shame the African governments that it thinks should be doing more.

While many African leaders do not hesitate to blame the West for interfering in their internal affairs, and criticising some countries "neo-colonialist" behaviour, they are still reluctant to provide the necessary financial help in times of needs.

Despite the urgency of the situation in East Africa, and especially in Somalia, where people are desperate to reach refugee camps inside or outside of the country, aid agencies say they expected more funds from African countries. Following the publication of a declaration by the African Union, countries around the continent are observing a day of solidarity and awareness with the victims of the famine in the Horn of Africa, but very few have made financial pledges.

"There is general disappointment that can be felt across the continent. What was missing is the African voice. The bold African voice, the bold African face of leadership on this matter," said Oxfam International spokesperson Anne Mitaru.

While the organisation acknowledges that people in countries like Kenya and South Africa have organized donation drives to contribute to famine relief, but warn the governments will need to get involved.

The African Union initially announced a contribution of around $500,000. South Africa also announced an initial contribution of more than $150,000. But Oxfam's Mitaru says such contributions are unacceptable.

"When you look at the South African economy, one of the largest, actually the leading, biggest economy on the continent, $150,000 is a poor show," said Mitaru. "African governments may not have the resources to entirely meet the funding gap, but they cannot not be part of the solution."

South Africa has since upped its pledge to around $1 million, and Botswana, Sudan and other countries have pledged money but citing the Kenyans for Kenya campaign which has already generated over $2 million from private and public donations, Africans Act 4 Africa says many of the continent's government can do better.

Oxfam and the AA4A coalition have released a report that breaks down how much each government can allegedly afford to contribute and insist South Africa, Nigeria, Libya, Egypt and Algeria should donate more than $5 million each.

Despite criticisms however African leaders have not been totally inactive as Nigeria and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on August 25, Nigerain President Goodluck Jonathan said last week.

Speaking from the state's house in Abuja, president Goodluck it was time for African leaders to take action on the catastrophe.

According to him, "the famine in the Horn of Africa is worrisome, and African leaders must take action to help this unfortunate situation."

Former Ghana President Jerry Rawlings who met the Nigerian President in Abudja described the situation as a catastrophe that had to be remedied through concerted actions by African leaders and corporate organisations and added that the chairman of the African Union, President Obiang Nguema Mbassogo of Equatorial Guinea, expected political and corporate leaders on the continent to show a commitment to seeking a solution to this problem.