News / Africa

Analyst Calls for Accountability at White House Africa Summit

President Barack Obama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete stand for the national anthem during an official dinner at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.President Barack Obama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete stand for the national anthem during an official dinner at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.
x
President Barack Obama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete stand for the national anthem during an official dinner at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.
President Barack Obama and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete stand for the national anthem during an official dinner at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, July 1, 2013.
James Butty
US President Barack Obama will host a summit with African leaders in August in a bid to strengthen trade and investment ties with the continent.  

The White House announced Tuesday said the summit will take place August 5 and 6 in Washington.

There was no immediate word on which African leaders will attend the summit, but one report said the leaders to be invited are those currently in good standing with the United States and who are not suspended from the African Union.  

Gambian-born Sulayman Nyang, a professor and former chair of the African Studies Department at Howard University in Washington, says the summit will have historical significance because Obama would be the first postwar US president to bring African leaders together.  

But, Nyang says, the President must insist that the African leaders demonstrate accountability to their citizens in terms of protecting human rights and fighting corruption.

“My proposition to the American leadership is, if you are going to bring African leaders (to Washington), you have to be very firm with them on three issues.  One is, are you going to trade with us and open your markets and we open our markets to you under condition that your leadership is going to be accountable to your people the way we are accountable to our people through elections and respect to minority rights?,” he said.

With anti-homosexual sentiments on the rise in many African countries, Nyang says US policy on gay rights may come into conflict with the policies of some of the African leaders who might be invited to attend the summit.

“One problem that the Obama administration is going to face, and with congressional leaders very nice to gay groups in this country and in the West, 'What are you going to tell some of the countries in Africa, who are opposed to the gay groups?'  This is where you’re going to have a big contradiction in Western policy,” Nyang said.

He said the Obama administration must also make the fight against corruption a condition in extending invitations to African leaders.

“During the Cold War, America did not care whether Mobutu (Sese Seko of the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire) was a dictator.  America didn’t care as long as the Belgians and the French and other Europeans were dealing with him.  He was alright.

"But today, the African leaders who are coming to Washington are going to be criticized because we now have the technology. There are a lot of Nigerians and other people who are concerned about corruption. They are going to be blogging, they will be using the Internet,” Nyang said.

If only African leaders in good standing with the U.S. government are invited, Nyang said such criteria would be building on former President George W. Bush’s Millennium Challenge Account, which used respect for civil liberties, good governance and control of corruption as benchmarks.

“This is a very important issue now because many scholars, journalists and other people have commented about whether (Zimbabwean President Robert) Mugabe will be invited.  

Nyang specuated on the difficulties of choosing who should not be invited. What if the White House did not invite Egypt because of the failure of the Arab Spring movement and the leaders of Sudan and Kenya were not invited because they are being charged before the International Criminal Court.

That would be a bone of contention in African circles if Kenyatta is invited to Washington, but not Bashir, Nyang said.

The White House announcement comes at a time when some Africans feel Obama has not done enough for Africa since his election.

But, Nyang says the US leader is a victim of historical circumstances beyond his control.

“What is very interesting now is the fact that he is President now, but he cannot perform miracles.  He is not carrying a magic wand.  The Tea Party people and all these other people are not helping him in conducting foreign policy.  

"So, how can you engage the Africans when you do not have the political power at home to mobilize your leadership to be more deeply involved in Africa?” Nyang said.

Butty interview with Nyang
Butty interview with Nyangi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
January 23, 2014 4:08 AM
If Obama is serious about looking for African leaders who are accountable to their own people, respect rights of minorities and free of corruptions, then he is in trouble running short of numbers to invite to the White House for the summit. About five African leaders have already been charged for war crimes, while another five more are under UN investigations for similar charges.
In Africa treating minorities with contempt is no longer a taboo, ....now it's part of law of the land to hunt gays and lesbians down, slaughter, throw them to prison indefinitely. While gay communities in Africa reportedly went into hiding, leaders cheerfully claimed the credit of making this continent free of homosexuals. But there's no single president who can claim free of corruptions.
Obama have got only one option to do: cancel the summit now!

by: Laura from: usa
January 22, 2014 9:13 AM
"accountability" .?.. hey fool, we still don't know what happened in the Benghazi Islamist terrorist slaughter of four Americans...

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More