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Joe Biden and Antony Blinken sit before video screens during the opening of the Democracy Summit. U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the White House during the opening of the Democracy Summit, as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, right, looks on, Washington, Dec. 9, 2021 (AP photo by Susan Walsh).

Biden’s Democracy Summit Missed an Opportunity to Engage With Africans

Friday, Dec. 10, 2021

Leaders from government, civil society, journalism and the private sector in 17 African countries have been invited by U.S. President Joe Biden to join their counterparts from nearly 100 other nations at a two-day virtual summit on democracy. While campaigning for his party’s presidential nomination, Biden made the defense and promotion of democracy at home and abroad a cornerstone of his agenda. In particular, Biden pledged to host a summit for democracy in his first year in office, a promise this gathering fulfills. 

Biden administration officials described the summit as offering an “affirmative agenda for democratic renewal” focused on three major themes: promoting respect for human rights, defending against a rising tide of authoritarianism and mobilizing anti-corruption efforts. A second, in-person summit is reportedly planned for next year to follow up on commitments made this week.  ...

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