The 2021 Summit for Democracy will be virtually held by US President Joe Biden on Thursday and Friday, December 9 and 10, 2021. The virtual event will focus on President Joe Biden's campaign pledge of “renewing democracy in the United States and around the world”. The invited guests are presidents of countries considered to having built solid democratic foundations or leaders of countries cleary on the path to solidifying democratic institutions. Among the uninvited leaders are the known brutal dictators in Africa. The questions now are about what will be the implicatiions of the Summit on the countries not invited, now considered to be led by dictatorships.
Leaders of 111 countries around the World, including Africa, were invited. The African countries included on the list of invitees are Angola, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, and Zambia.
On the invites, key countries appear missing. Those missing include usually prominent countries or those that had been considered allies to various US governments in the past. Among the top ruthless dictators in Africa are those included on the list as reported in the AfroAmerica Network ( here: Africa: African Dictators of 2021; 3 Down, More to Go). The finger points to such countries as Gabon, Cameroon, Togo, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Sudan, Mali, Uganda, and Rwanda. There are common characteristics for these countries: dictatorship.
Even before the invitation, there were some worries regarding how the US Goverment will determine which country will be considered sufficiently democratic to make the invite list, how to avoid controversies, and what will be the consequences after the Summit.
However, it appears clear that the common characteristic of the regimes that were excluded from the 2021 Summit for Democracy is how their leaders have remained in power: changing their countries’ constitutions to allow them to run for additional illegal terms or simply ignoring the aspirations of their people.
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Questions on the upcoming 2021 Summit for Democacy and the aftermath.
The main question is: how is the 2021 Summit for Democracy being received?
As expected, there are mixed receptions. Some country leaders, especially those of the countries not invited, have questionned the criteria used to select the invitees. There also are open criticisms on the motives of the US Government. However, what is sure is that those not invited are widely known to lead regimes that do not follow the principles of democracy.
The other question is what would be the follow-up actions post the Summit. Some of the dictators not invited fear that the Summit may lead to the situation that have led to the overthrow of similar governments. In fact, some wonder whether the Summit will enable and empower anti-government protests against their long term illegal and brutal rules.
©2021 AfroAmerica Network
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