At least 15 African countries have been invited to attend President Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s summit on democracy for Thursday and Friday. The summit’s three thematic pillars are strengthening democracy and defending against authoritarianism; fighting corruption; and promoting respect for human rights.
The 15 countries are Angola, Botswana, Cabo Verde, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, and Zambia.
The virtual summit is going to bring together over 100 governments representing diverse democratic experiences from around the world, as well as leading activists, journalists, private sector leaders, and other members of civil society.
“President Biden is going to convene a broad and diverse group of governmental and nongovernmental leaders from every region of the world to set forth an affirmative agenda for democratic renewal,” a senior administration official told reporters during a telephonic briefing on Tuesday. “And our intention with the summit is to provide leaders a forum to engage, listen, and speak honestly about the challenges and opportunities facing democratic governments and about how democracies can deliver for their citizens.”
The official added that the summit will also serve as a platform for leaders to announce new commitments, reforms, and initiatives in accordance with the summit’s three thematic pillars, which are, first, strengthening democracy and defending against authoritarianism; second, fighting corruption; and third, promoting respect for human rights.
“For our part, the U.S. government will announce at the summit new initiatives and commitments in areas such as bolstering free and independent media, fighting corruption, defending free and fair elections, strengthening democratic reformers, and harnessing technology for democratic renewal,” the official said. “And over the past week, we’ve previewed some aspects of these announcements, including a new effort to work with likeminded partners to better protect dual-use technologies that can be used to violate human rights through export-control regimes. And also, as of yesterday, we launched the new, first-ever U.S. National Strategy on Countering Corruption.”