How An African Dictator Pays for Influence

How An African Dictator Pays for Influence

Karen Attiah The Morningside Post | August 6, 2012
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United States policy towards Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, the dictator/ President of Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, is a perfect case study in the hypocrisy of Western leaders when it comes to African strongmen.

 

United States policy towards Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mbasogo, the dictator/ President of Spanish-speaking Equatorial Guinea, is a perfect case study in the hypocrisy of Western leaders when it comes to African strongmen.  Even as Hillary Clinton wraps up her seven country African tour promoting democracy and good governance, representatives of her government and international development organizations continue to ignore many corrupt practices in oil-rich, democracy-poor Equatorial Guinea.

The Leon H. Sullivan Foundation, a U.S. based non-profit, will hold their 9th Biennial Africa Rising Summit from August 20th to the 24th in Malabo, Equatorial Guinea.  According to the foundation’s website, the Summit, hosted by President Obiang will:

Bringing together government and corporate communities for the benefit of the African people. Summit IX will re-connect the displaced Diaspora and generate solution-oriented dialogue while discovering the tools to empower businesses, entrepreneurs and the African youth while instilling the Sullivan Principles as necessary standards of corporate and government responsibility.”

The Sullivan Foundation claims to “empower underprivileged people worldwide by promoting the principles of self help and social responsibility. “ The Foundation’s strategic African development goals include “creating opportunity through dialogue, and to advocate for the poor and disadvantaged.”  Why then is the Sullivan Foundation working with Obiang, a corrupt dictator who has kept his people under his thumb since 1979 and who holds the crown as Africa’s longest serving sitting president?

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