President Muhammadu Buhari, 16 other African presidents and leaders from across the world are expected to hold a meeting with United States (US) President Joe Biden to discuss ways to make democracy more responsive.
The two-day summit tagged the ‘Summit for Democracy’ is organised by American administration and will be virtually held, with the knowledge that the US is itself under scrutiny over its own commitment to the democratic process.
The 16 other African nations invited to the summit with Nigeria are Angola, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa and Zambia.
The summit will be hosted by President Joe Biden, who emphasised last January that “democracy doesn’t happen by accident. We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, and renew it.”
The summit is “the first in a year-long campaign during which participating nations will take initiatives, in the words of the Biden administration, to make democracies more responsive and resilient, and to build a broader community of partners committed to global democratic renewal.”
Although no reason was given for non-invitation to some African nations whose leaders will not be taking part in the summit, among those excluded are countries where presidential term limits have been overturned (Côte d’Ivoire), where elections have been marred by repression (Tanzania and Uganda) or whose governments have been installed by military coups (Egypt, Mali, Guinea Bissau and Sudan), the governments of Mozambique, where allegations of corruption have strained ties with the U.S., and Ethiopia where President Biden has since revoked the country’s trade agreement which enabled the U.S. to impose sanctions on those most responsible for the conflict of the last year.