Buhari, 109 World Leaders to Discuss Ways to Make Democracy More Responsive in Meeting With Biden

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Michael Olugbode in Abuja with Agency Report

Leaders from across the globe including President Muhammadu Buhari and 16 other African presidents are expected at a meeting with US President Joe Biden to discuss ways to make democracy more responsive.

The meeting tagged the “Summit for Democracy’ organized by American administration is to be virtually held, with the knowledge that the United States 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 two-day summit, with a participant list that includes 110 countries, will be hosted by President Joe Biden, who emphasised soon after taking office last January, that “democracy doesn’t happen by accident. We have to defend it, fight for it, strengthen it, renew it.”

According to a report by AllAfrica.com, 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.”

Though no reason was given for none extension of invitation to some notable African nations whose leaders will not be taking part in the virtual gathering as no explanation was offered for country-by-country invitation, but 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).

Also not invited are 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 and enabling the U.S. to impose sanctions on those most responsible for the conflict of the last year.