Why African Leaders Should Boycott the Obama Summit

Obama-and-African-leadersThe African presidents mass meeting in DC (scheduled for the 5th and 6th of August 2014) is a terrible and condescending idea. Different African countries are in different situations, and no summit between the United States and that many countries can come up with useful solutions that will work for all 47 countries. What wealthy South Africa has to offer is not the same as what the poorer Tanzania or Kenya can. In fact the smaller countries have as much to fear from a growing and hungry South African economy as from the United States or China. If Obama wants to meet with African presidents, let him visit all 47 capitals, or attend an African Union meeting.

Like a father calling his children together to discuss their futures, President Obama has summoned 47 African heads of state to Washington DC for a mass Africa Summit. He has even decided who should join him at the dinner table –the ICC-indicted Uhuru Kenyatta has been invited, but his erring children, Mugabe and Bashir, have been asked not to ruin the dinner and stay home.

As a matter of principle and duty to the continent, African presidents should boycott the summit.  Instead, the African Union should extend an invitation for him to attend its 2015 meeting where he can meet any of the presidents on equal footing.

There are a number of reasons why the African presidents mass meeting in DC is, to put it bluntly, a terrible and condescending idea.

Read full article here.
By Mukoma Wa Ngugi

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