Building democracy is one of the three themes of the U.S.-Africa leaders summit. Leaders from Zimbabwe, Sudan, Eritrea and Central Africa - regarded as dictators by America - were excluded from this summit.
America has its own standards for defining democracy. Before Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was ousted, Egypt had long been an important ally of America. However, when an uprising broke out in Egypt, America abandoned Egypt because of their "dictatorship". Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, a former "model of democracy" praised by America, became a 'dictator' to America when his land reform offended U.S. and U.K. interests, and the country was subjected to sanctions by the U.S. Mugabe's re-election as president last year gained widespread recognition from the international community, including some western countries. Nevertheless, Mugabe was not invited to this summit.
American academics and politicians advocate that in a democratic environment, the world can develop peacefully. Before this summit, in an interview with The Economist, leaders from U.S. said that U.S. had made great sacrifices for the cause of world peace and security. But is this the case?
America has waged frequent wars since the end of the Cold War. In the name of bringing 'democracy and freedom' to foreign peoples, and establishing new 'democratic countries', U.S. military actions have caused huge humanitarian disasters.
As is the case with gender equality, it will take a long time to realise democracy. And there are many institutional flaws in America's own democracy. Apparently under the impression that it knows more about Africa than Africans themselves, America feels the need to interfere in Africa's democratic processes.
If America genuinely cares about the peaceful development of Africa, its government has to begin by treating Africans as equals and respecting their wishes and their right to self-determination.
The article is edited and translated from《非洲的民主，非洲自己做主》, source: People's Daily