The Summit of African and Western European leaders took place in Brussels from April 2 to April 3, 2014 despite a call by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for African leaders to boycott it, apparently due to the selective nature of the invitations extended to African leaders by the European Union and the denial of a visa to his wife. Other African leaders who did not attend the Summit include Omar al-Bashir of Sudan, who has a warrant of arrest against him issued by ICC for war crimes, the President of Western Sahara, a country not recognized by the EU and the U.S., and the president of South Africa, Jacob Zuma, who sent his foreign affairs minister. Morocco, which is not a member of the African Union, having pulled out in 1984 over the recognition of Western Sahara by many African countries, was invited and attend.
More than anything, this Summit highlights the lack of a cohesive policy position of African leaders on many global issues and the influence Western Europe and other powerful external players like the US still have on Africa’s politics, especially the role and impact of foreign development aid and assistance in this regard. Joining us to discuss these developments and their implications are:
- Tyrene Wright, New York based scholar, human rights activist and founder of African Women for Africa, and
- Nii Akuette, a Washington DC based democracy activist and analyst on Africa
- Wuyi Jacobs - Host
- Tseliso Thipanyane: Human Rights Producer