Tuesday, June 27, 2006 3:30-5:30
Moderators: US Reps. Ed Royce and Donald Payne. Invited Participants: Dany Komla Aydia, Joel Barkan, Ted Dagne, Christopher Fomunyoh, Jendayi Frazer, Princeton N. Lyman, Miria Matembe, J. Stephen Morrison, Dave Peterson, Howard Wolpe.
The event was in the form of a round table discussion explaining the AU countries in the progress towards democracy. The African challenges to bring about democracy are narrowed down into: Government and institutions corruption, demilitarizing government institutions and Civil wars. The needs are: justice, prevalent rule of law, economic growth, strengthening weak democracy to avoid falling back in the loop of authoritarianism and dictatorship. Almost 18 African countries have become democratic. Free media has played a big role in the progression of democracy especially through community radios. MCC has greatly supported African countries wanting democratic governance and civil society.
On of the main points of discussion was China's economic interest in African countries and the threat it poses to the democratic progress. China can play a model for authoritarians that economic development can be achieved without democracy and human rights. While some speakers agreed that China might pose a threat, some argued that there are also other countries that play the same role.
Governments in Africa have developed in different trends: Ambiguous democracies, Virtual democracies, electoral dictatorship, aspiring democracies. Due to years of wars and misplacement and were deprived form education that plays important role in democratic voting.
by Youmna Diri