Three notorious African leaders -- Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, Eritrea's Isaias Afewerki, and Sudan's Omar al-Bashir -- are not invited to this week's U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. But a number of other long-ruling African strongmen, like Angola's José Eduardo dos Santos, Equatorial Guinea's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, and Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, will be there. In fact, over a dozen African countries which will be represented at the summit boast disturbing human rights records of ruthlessly suppressing freedom of expression and freedom of association through harassment, arrest, torture, and trumped up charges and killings.
The emerging Brics economies – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – struck an agreement this month to establish a development bank with an initial capital of $100bn. The Brics want the bank to mobilise resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects. From the outset, it should adopt open and transparent processes, and environmental and social rules, that are the best in the business. It should help communities become involved in the development of projects, invest in schemes that communities actually want, and ensure that its investments benefit the most marginalised people.
While President Obama has unveiled specific initiatives to strengthen US development work in Africa and connect it to core national security objectives, he has not done the same for human rights and the rule of law.
Many Europeans are upset over revelations that the United States government spies on them. But European companies are selling surveillance tools and know-how to other governments, allowing them to spy abroad. Their customers include some of the world's most abusive governments and at least one of them—Ethiopia—is targeting its diaspora population in Europe. The results extend beyond outrage over privacy violations: They put people in danger.
Abeba, a 31-year-old Muslim woman who worked for a local government branch of Ethiopia’s youth and sports office, was at work when Ethiopian security officials detained her and took her to a military camp.