“We must all work together to advance our shared vision of a better future,” Biden told participants of the 34th African Union Summit via video message in early February. “A future … committed to investing in our democratic institutions and promoting human rights [for] all people.”
In the six months since, the new administration has coordinated with its European allies to sanction a slew of autocratic countries including China, Belarus and Myanmar. In Africa, however, Biden has pursued a less confrontational approach.
Whether it’s responding to the conflict in Ethiopia, human rights abuses in Egypt and Nigeria, questionable elections in Uganda and Benin, or kleptocracy in Equatorial Guinea, the US has so far opted for a relatively light touch. This has left some African activists, human rights advocates and members of Congress demanding more.