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

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid