[Senate Hearing 112-475] [From the U.S. Government Publishing Office] S. Hrg. 112-475 EXAMINING THE U.S. POLICY RESPONSE TO ENTRENCHED AFRICAN LEADERSHIP ======================================================================= HEARING BEFORE THE SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICAN AFFAIRS OF THE COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS UNITED STATES SENATE ONE HUNDRED TWELFTH CONGRESS SECOND SESSION __________ APRIL 18, 2012 __________ Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/ U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE 75-022 WASHINGTON : 2012 ----------------------------------------------------------------------- For sale by the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, http://bookstore.gpo.gov. For more information, contact the GPO Customer Contact Center, U.S. Government Printing Office. Phone 202�09512�091800, or 866�09512�091800 (toll-free). E-mail, [email protected] COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts, Chairman BARBARA BOXER, California RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey BOB CORKER, Tennessee BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland JAMES E. RISCH, Idaho ROBERT P. CASEY, Jr., Pennsylvania MARCO RUBIO, Florida JIM WEBB, Virginia JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma JEANNE SHAHEEN, New Hampshire JIM DeMINT, South Carolina CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois JOHN BARRASSO, Wyoming TOM UDALL, New Mexico MIKE LEE, Utah William C. Danvers, Staff Director Kenneth A. Myers, Jr., Republican Staff Director ------------ SUBCOMMITTEE ON AFRICAN AFFAIRS CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, Delaware, Chairman BENJAMIN L. CARDIN, Maryland JOHNNY ISAKSON, Georgia JIM WEBB, Virginia JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma RICHARD J. DURBIN, Illinois MIKE LEE, Utah TOM UDALL, New Mexico BOB CORKER, Tennessee (ii) C O N T E N T S ---------- Page Carson, Hon. Johnnie, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, U.S. Department of State, Washington, DC.............. 10 Prepared statement........................................... 14 Coons, Hon. Christopher A., U.S. Senator from Delaware, opening statement...................................................... 1 Fomunyoh, Dr. Christopher, senior associate and regional director for Central and West Africa, National Democratic Institute, Washington, DC................................................. 36 Prepared statement........................................... 39 Gast, Earl, Assistant Administrator for Africa, U.S. Agency for International Development, Washington, DC...................... 18 Prepared statement........................................... 20 Ibrahim, Dr. Mo, founder and chairman of the board, Mo Ibrahim Foundation, London, UK......................................... 32 Prepared statement........................................... 35 Isakson, Hon. Johnny, U.S. Senator from Georgia, opening statement...................................................... 9 Kerry, Hon. John F., U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, opening statement...................................................... 1 (iii) EXAMINING THE U.S. POLICY RESPONSE TO ENTRENCHED AFRICAN LEADERSHIP ---------- WEDNESDAY, APRIL 18, 2012 U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on African Affairs, Committee on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC. The subcommittee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:15 p.m. in room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Christopher A. Coons, chairman of the subcommittee, presiding. Present: Senators Coons, Kerry, Isakson, and Inhofe. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. CHRISTOPHER A. COONS, U.S. SENATOR FROM DELAWARE Senator Coons. I'm pleased to chair this hearing of the African Affairs Subcommittee, and would like to welcome my good friend, our chairman, John Kerry, who has joined us for an opening conversation, and my good friend and colleague, Senator Isakson, and other members of the committee as well who have joined us here today. Today's hearing will examine U.S. policy in response to entrenched African leadership. But before we move to that main focus for today's hearing, I also want us to have the opportunity today to take advantage of some insights and some opportunities. Senator Isakson has just returned from a trip to Uganda. And given the distinguished panel we have before us, the chairman and I agreed this would be a great opportunity for us to examine developments on another critical issue in the region, that of the Lord's Resistance Army and United States efforts to remove Joseph Kony from the battlefield, in partnership with our regional allies and United States efforts to counter the LRA and to lead the effort to recover from its crimes against humanity in Central Africa. With that, Chairman Kerry. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN F. KERRY, U.S. SENATOR FROM MASSACHUSETTS The Chairman. Well, thank you very much, Chairman Coons. I really appreciate it. First of all, let me just say how much I really appreciate, and I think the whole committee does, your leadership, the leadership of Senator Isakson, and the leadership and commitment also of Senator Inhofe, who has been particularly focused on the LRA but also on issues of concern to Africa. We haven't got a better twosome as subcommittee chair and ranking than these two folks here, these two Senators, who are providing critical oversight and engagement and creative thinking with respect to what sometimes has been a forgotten continent, but not under their stewardship. And I might add, not under Secretary Carson's stewardship. The purpose of being here for the hearing, fundamentally, is to look at the topic of entrenched leadership and U.S. policy. I think it's important to look at the impact of what happens when a President or Prime Minister or a party remains in office too long, sometimes through outright dictatorship, but often through more subtle means of domination. We've had examples in the last year or so, from Cairo to Dakar, to remind us that the consent of the governed has always been an essential force, and all the more so now that instant communication has the ability to transform descent into protest, and protest into revolution. Trust is the heart of governance, and I think it's clear that people will no longer tolerate Presidents for life. So I'm very pleased that the subcommittee is going to look at the subject it is going to look at here today, with a very distinguished group of witnesses, including Dr. Mo Ibrahim, who first helped launch the telecommunications revolution in Africa and is helping to promote transformations to responsible governance. And we are so appreciative of your being here and respect your work. If I can just say, very quickly, the topic, therefore, is about entrenched leaders, but we want to focus, in these first moments, for a specific reason, on entrenched war criminals, entrenched menace to civility. And the reason we want to do that today is that Senator Isakson is just back from traveling, and Secretary Carson was not available next week when the full committee wanted to do this. I just thought, frankly, at Senator Coons' suggestion, that we should take advantage of the freshness of Senator Isakson's journey, and Secretary Carson's presence here, to focus on something that really doesn't deserve to wait a matter of weeks. It's waited, frankly, for too many years. And that is the question of Joseph Kony and the Lord's Resistance Army. Senator Coons has introduced a resolution on the LRA. It is new to some Americans, but he has been an all too familiar nightmare to too many people for too long. Today the LRA consists of only a few hundred people, most likely. But it continues to inflict a level of pain and suffering far greater than its actual size. And for many of us, Kony is no stranger. Two years ago, we passed legislation to provide support to regional governments working to protect their people and to apprehend him and his top commanders, and to remove them from the battlefield. Senator Isakson and I both cosponsored that bill. And today, there are 100 U.S. military advisers in Central Africa to aid the counter-LRA efforts in that region. I'm also pleased to announce that, joined by Senators Coons and Isakson, as well as Senators Boozman and Landrieu, I'm going to be introducing legislation to strengthen our hand in the fight against war criminals like Kony by expanding the State Department's rewards program, so that there's a greater incentive and greater capacity to go after these folks. And we will take up this issue more a little later in the committee, but I wanted to take advantage of Senator Isakson's journey. We're very grateful to him for taking the time to do that. And I wonder, Senator Isakson, if you would mind sharing some of your takeaways from your trip to Uganda and the problem of Joseph Kony. And perhaps, Senator Coons, both you and Secretary Carson would just take a moment to do an overview here, very quickly, while we're all present, of this issue. Senator. Senator Isakson. I thank you, Mr. Chairman and Chairman Coons. Senator Inhofe asked to be recognized for a quick statement, if that is OK with the chairman, because he has to leave for Armed Services. Senator Inhofe. Thank you. And, Mr. Chairman, we have an Armed Services Committee hearing. It happens that I'm the ranking member, and my attendance is required. However, I just returned yesterday from my 123rd African country visit in 15 years, and I'm very interested in what is going on here. I have some thoughts that are not consistent with the administration on some of the things we've been doing in conjunction with Africa. So I am going to be coming back. My first exposure to the LRA and Joseph Kony took place in Gulu in 2005, so now it's become a household word, and I'm very thankful for that. So I will excuse myself, but I will be coming back. Senator Coons. Thank you. Senator Isakson. Thank you for your courtesy, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the opportunity to give a brief statement regarding our trip to Kampala and to Gulu, as a matter fact, and to Uganda. As most everybody knows, the attention on Joseph Kony was heightened when the Invisible Children organization did a 30- minute video that went viral and has now been seen over 100 million times on the Internet. A lot of the information in it was correct. Some of it was incorrect. But the most important thing: It focused on Joseph Kony, who is a very bad individual by anybody's judgment. Joseph Kony started in Uganda, but he is no longer there, and he's been gone, really, for 5 to 6 years. Gulu, which was a strife-torn area with a number of individually displaced individuals because of Joseph Kony, is now relatively prosperous. It is crime and violence free, and we spent a full day in Gulu. And the people there on the border with the Congo are very happy and very appreciative that Joseph Kony is gone. We met with the leaders of the 100-man group that is now in Uganda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Central African Republic, and with South Sudan, and I'm pleased to report on what our individual leaders are doing there. I might also add, President Obama deployed those people before the Joseph Kony video went on the Internet, and we have been focusing, as Senator Kerry said, for the last 2 years on Joseph Kony. But our advisers and forward people in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Central African Republic have a lot of information regarding Mr. Kony that we did not have before. And although we don't know exactly where he is, we know a lot better about the area where he is than we have ever known before. We are beginning to gain certain intelligence. There are some things I'm not at liberty to say, because of the security of the briefing, or the insecurity of this briefing and the security of the one that I had. But suffice it to say that one of the most successful things the American forces have done is deploy leaflets in the villages near where some of his followers are, offering amnesty if his people will come back and bring information leading toward the capture or the location of Mr. Kony, which has caused a separation of Mr. Kony from a number of his supporters, which are thought to be, as the chairman said, about 200 now. Most of them are thought to be in the South Sudan or the Congo. He is thought to be in the Central African Republic. There have been some instances of violence recently that have been attributed to the Lord's Resistance Army, which may or may not, in fact, have been copycats and not really the Lord's Resistance Army. But there's no question Joseph Kony is still alive, and there's no question that he's still a threat. We need to recognize that in 26 years, he's abducted 66,000 children, displaced 2 million Africans, and killed tens of thousands of Africans in the name of the Lord's Resistance Army. He is a very, very bad actor by anybody's definition. And I'm proud that our country is assisting the African Union, the U.N., the troops from Uganda, and the Central African Republic, and the South Sudan, all of whom are focused on capturing Joseph Kony, who has been indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. So, Mr. Chairman, you would be very proud of the American personnel that are in Uganda and in Africa now, working on the hunt for Joseph Kony. We have a number of assets that have been deployed from an intelligence access standpoint, which are beginning to be very, very helpful. And it's becoming popular to leave Joseph Kony now and come back, rather than join up with him, which is going to limit the ability for him to grow his forces in the future. So I want to pay a particular tribute, though, to the nation of Uganda. Their leadership has been exemplary in providing military troops and assistance to the countries in Central Africa in search of Joseph Kony, and point out that that government has done everything it could to bring back peace and prosperity in the north. We traveled the road that they built to connect Gulu back to Kampala and the main heart of Uganda, and met with the people in the villages in Gulu and the surrounding areas, all of whom were peaceful, all of whom were happy, and, in a relative term, prosperous. So my report is that Joseph Kony is alive. We're closer to coming to Joseph Kony than we probably have ever been, although we don't have him yet. But there are a number of forces at work there to do so. And as we gain intelligence and as we gain those who defect and come back because of the amnesty program, it's highly likely that his days are numbered in terms of being missing. And that will be a good day for Africa and a good day for mankind. Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Senator Isakson, for that update, for your leadership on this issue, for your personal commitment and engagement. As I've seen in our time together on the subcommittee, your passion for justice and progress in Africa is exemplary and is one of the best things I've had a chance to support and contribute to in my time here in the Senate. And I just want to thank the chairman for ensuring this is a top priority for the committee, for his leadership in introducing legislation that will amend the justice awards program to add another sort of tool in the toolkit as we try to make sure that Joseph Kony is, in fact, removed from the battlefield, captured, and taken before the International Criminal Court. Yes, Senator. Senator Isakson. I'm glad that you said that. I wanted to tell the chairman that I specifically asked the briefers from the Americans that are deployed there if the reward program would be of help to them, and they said absolutely. They were very enthusiastic that the chairman was poised to introduce that legislation. I think the same legislation is being introduced in the House. And they think because of the defections that they're getting and the fact that they think the noose is beginning to tighten, they think it will be extremely helpful in their search for Joseph Kony. Senator Coons. I'm eager to move to hearing from our witnesses on this topic, and then to get to the entrenched leaders point. Let me just say, if I could, tomorrow at 11:45 in the TV and Radio Gallery, we're going to be releasing a video that all of us appear in that just summarizes the response from the United States, the resolution that Chairman Kerry referred to, that Senator Inhofe and Senator Isakson and I are on that has 41 cosponsors that just demonstrates there remains a broad, bipartisan consensus in the Senate in support of the administration's action to deploy these 100 U.S. Special Forces troops; that commends our partners and our allies in the African Union and in the regional militaries that are working so hard to make sure that Joseph Kony is found and brought to justice; and then to continue to support USAID's efforts for recovery and reconciliation, and for restoration of those communities like Gulu that have suffered for so long from the predation of the Lord's Resistance Army. This Friday is the Kony 2012 movement day of action, and it's our hope after these events next Tuesday to be back looking in more detail with some input from the Department of Defense, Department of State, USAID, on the path forward in the hunt for Kony and then to see how we can be supportive going forward. So with that, if I might, let me just ask Assistant Secretary of State Johnnie Carson or Assistant Administrator of USAID for Africa Earl Gast, if you have any comments for us at this point on our efforts and our investments in this particular matter. Ambassador Carson. Thank you very much. Let me say, first of all, I am extremely pleased to be here, Chairman Kerry, Chairman Coons, Ranking Member Isakson, to talk not only about entrenched African leaders, but also the issue of Joseph Kony and the LRA. I want to thank all of you personally and professionally for your deep commitment in support of a broader international effort to bring Joseph Kony and the members of the LRA to justice. As Senator Isakson has pointed out, for far too long, Joseph Kony and his organization have gone through Central Africa killing, pillaging, raping, and destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of Africans in Uganda, the Congo, Central African Republic, and now Southern Sudan. The administration is totally committed to doing everything that it can in partnership with the regional African states and with the AU and the U.N. to bring Joseph Kony and the remnants of his organization to justice. Joseph Kony's organization has some 150 to 250 members dispersed, we believe, between some four or five different groups, operating largely in the Central African Republic, but also still in Southern Sudan and the northern parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. As Senator Isakson pointed out, they have not been active in Uganda since 2006. The Ugandan Government is to be applauded for taking the leadership in continuing to go after Joseph Kony, although he is no longer operating there. Their forces have led the way in trying to bring this man to justice. We are supporting that effort. The United States Government has been a strong supporter of the Ugandan Government in this effort for the last 3\1/2\ years. And last year, we supplemented our effort by sending approximately 100 U.S. military to advise the national militaries in the region that are pursuing the LRA and working to protect the local populations. Those 100 advisers are there to help do four essential tasks. The first is to help improve civilian protection in all of the areas where Kony is operating; to enhance regional coordination between the militaries of the four countries; to strengthen the integration of information and intelligence into operations, so that information and intelligence received is passed on to soldiers in the field in a more rapid and more efficient and more useful fashion; and finally, to help directly in trying to capture and to bring Kony to justice. We have done all of these things under the civilian protection umbrella. We have, along with our colleagues in USAID and also with a number of NGOs, sought to provide radios and UHF radios and cell phones to a number of communities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and also in the Central African Republic, so that if indeed villagers see and hear things that might suggest that Kony is in the vicinity or his people are in the vicinity, they can call back or radio back to government offices in order to get support to come after Kony and to protect them. We have also worked very hard to effectively bring about better coordination between the regional militaries, and we have stepped up our training, particularly with respect to the DRC. In the DRC, the U.S. Government under AFRICOM was responsible for training one battalion, the 391st Battalion, which is operating up in the northeastern corner of the DRC, in the Garamba Forest, focused mainly on going after the Lord's Resistance Army and Joseph Kony. We are advising the forces in the Central African Republic, and also in South Sudan. In support of our efforts to help strengthen the integration of intelligence and information into operations, we have deployed certain intelligence assets to the region, and we are in the process of stepping up those assets. We appreciate enormously the support of the Congress on this. As you all know, the Congress authorized some $35 million under the Defense authorization bill to help support operations of the U.S. military and our diplomatic efforts in the region. We believe this is extraordinarily useful. We have, over the last several years, spent approximately $30 to $40 million each year to help the governments and militaries in the region. And this additional support, which will be coming out of the DOD budget, helps to supplement funding that we have been using from State funds. We have clearly helped to degrade the LRA, to disperse it, but we have not finished the mission of decapitating it. We hope that we will be able to continue to work closely with the countries in the region to bring Joseph Kony to justice and finish this project. Thank you. Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Assistant Secretary Carson. We look forward to next Tuesday's hearing, where we will go into more detail and receive more updates and briefings from AID, the Department of Defense, the Department of State. I think it's important that we now turn to our main focus today, which is U.S. policy options in response to entrenched African leadership, and some of the themes we just touched on, the role of the International Criminal Court, the role of rewards for behavior, for changes in leadership, will also come up in the broader context of this hearing. Specifically, for the rest of this hearing, we're going to focus on the United States response and the African response to leaders who stayed in power for decades, whether through the manipulation of constitutions, institutions of governance, or through other means. This all too common scenario around the world in sub- Saharan Africa has challenged the objectives that the United States and many African nations share--objectives and values centered on the promotion of democracy, transparency, and the rule of law. Entrenched African leaders contribute to corruption, to economic stagnation, to a lack of accountability, and an inability of government to effectively represent and respond to the needs of people, and threatens to hamper the enormous potential of sub-Saharan Africa, and must, therefore, I think, be addressed and ultimately reversed. I'm pleased that among the policy aims of the United States in Africa is strengthening democracy and the systems of governance throughout the world. I'm also pleased that there are clear signs our efforts have helped to reinforce African- led efforts to ensure good governance, encourage the rule of law, and strengthen civil society. At the same time, the promotion of democracy and governance is one of many competing U.S. policy objectives, demonstrated by the fact that approximately three-quarters of all U.S. foreign aid for sub-Saharan Africa is directed toward health and humanitarian programs. While allocations of aid for democracy promotion in Africa have increased under the Obama administration, I am concerned that such resources in the total package of U.S. engagement remain relatively small. In responding to entrenched leaders, the United States frequently finds itself constrained by other priorities as well, and challenged in our efforts to effectively influence the longserving Presidents who cling to power. I understand and deeply value the importance of security and health as competing priorities, but believe democracy promotion must continue to be a central priority for the United States, the international community, and, most importantly, African nations and leaders. At today's hearing, we will consider a range of examples throughout sub-Saharan Africa of the political dominance of a single party or figure. Equatorial Guinea's President recently replaced Qadhafi of Libya as the continent's longest serving at 33 years. The Presidents of Angola, Zimbabwe, and Cameroon have all been in power for 30 years or more. Close behind, the leaders of the Uganda, Swaziland, Burkina Faso, Sudan, Chad--between 20 and 25 years. I was deeply concerned when President Biya of Cameroon recently changed the constitution of his nation to eliminate term limits, which paved the way for him to begin his 30th year in power. Key countries of strategic interest--Ethiopia, Sudan, Uganda--are governed by leaders who have been in power for many years, without allowing the emergence of effective opposition or demonstrating any signs of stepping down. Frankly, there is also a sad correlation between those countries that have entrenched leaders and those countries that rank at the bottom of human development indexes and political participation. According to the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, which compiles the index on African governance, the ranking of political participation closely correlates with the index of human development. Unfortunately, the list of countries we can talk about today goes on. I'd be remiss if I failed to mention the recent coups in Mali and Guinea-Bissau. These events are deeply troubling. But there are also positive results to be seen there in the strength and the leadership of a regional multilateral institution, in this case, ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, which took prompt and effective action, ranging from denouncing the coups, to sanctions, to diplomatic action. Political entrenchment is first and foremost a threat to the African people, and addressing it must be led by Africans and African nations. But I hope the United States and international community will continue to work with regional organizations, such as ECOWAS, to support free and fair elections. To tackle this complex issue, we have two extremely distinguished panels. On our first panel, as I've already mentioned, Assistant Ambassador Johnnie Carson, and Earl Gast, the newly confirmed Assistant Administrator for Africa USAID, who testifies before the subcommittee for the first time in his current role. On the second panel, we're privileged to have Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh, a senior associate regional director of the National Democratic Institute, and Dr. Mo Ibrahim, founder and chairman of the board of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. Dr. Fomunyoh is originally from Cameroon and has a played a critical role in formulating and directing NDI's valuable work in Africa. And I want to especially recognize and thank Dr. Ibrahim for traveling today from London to be with us. He has led a foundation which awards good governance and leadership in Africa with an annual cash prize of $5 million to democratically elected leaders who demonstrate excellence in office and peacefully step down. Of equal value is the Ibrahim Index of African Governance, a great resource for all who try to press for responsible transitions on the African continent. With that, I turn it over to Senator Isakson for his opening comments. Senator. OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHNNY ISAKSON, U.S. SENATOR FROM GEORGIA Senator Isakson. Well, thank you, Mr. Chairman, I will be brief. But I will begin by complimenting the chairman who took the leadership role on the Senegal issue and advised President Wade of the desire for the voters to speak and their vote to be respected. And the elections in Senegal were decisive and they were free, and President Wade did the right thing. And I think the chairman deserves a lot of credit for initiating that letter. I think it's also important to recognize that entrenched leadership is not a problem that is unique to Africa. We had an incident in North Korea just last week that reminded us of what family leadership over decades can mean to an impoverished group of people. So Africa is not unique in that regard. Also, it's important to point out there are leaders on the continent, like Commissioner Jega in Nigeria, who led the first free, relatively violence free, and satisfactory democratic elections in the history of Nigeria when Goodluck Jonathan was elected, and I hope Commissioner Jega stays in business long enough to help some of the other African countries make that transition. With that said, though, entrenched leadership is an issue that we should focus on, and promoting democratic institutions in African countries is a main part of the mission of the Department of State. And I appreciate the leadership that Secretary Clinton and Johnnie Carson both give that issue on the continent. And while we have a lot of entrenched leaders, we have a lot of rays of sunshine and light. And last, as always the case, you can't categorically put everybody in one barrel, because there are exceptions. And we have seen exceptions where entrenched leaders have turned and done the right thing and helped countries make the transition. So we need to recognize that our encouragement for democratic institutions, our awareness of the importance for the voters to determine their leadership, are the critical institutions and instruments of democracy that make our country great, and we think will make the countries of Africa great as well. So, Mr. Chairman, congratulations on your effects on Senegal, and thank you for calling this hearing today. Senator Coons. Thank you so much, Senator Isakson. I'd like to invite Ambassador Carson to give his opening statement at this point. STATEMENT OF HON. JOHNNIE CARSON, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AFRICAN AFFAIRS, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE, WASHINGTON, DC Ambassador Carson. Chairman Coons, thank you very much. And also Ranking Member Isakson, thank you very much for those very helpful and useful comments. Let me start off by making some initial comments on the state of democracy in Africa, and then turn, briefly, to the cases of Senegal and also the Cameroon. I have submitted longer testimony, and I'm certainly prepared to discuss any of the questions or any of the--take your questions and discuss any of the countries that directly concern you. Democracy is on the move in Africa. The democratic trajectory is positive and getting stronger. Over the last 2 years, we've seen a number of African countries hold successful democratic elections, large countries such as Nigeria and Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire, as well as smaller countries like Zambia, Niger, and Guinea-Conakry. In the elections that have taken place, we have seen sitting Presidents removed peacefully from power by the ballot box, as in the case of Senegal and Zambia. We have seen governments move from military to civilian rule, and the Presidents succeed themselves in fair, transparent, and peaceful elections in some other cases. Opinion polls conducted by respected African and United States organizations demonstrate that African support for democracy, as well as the freedoms and opportunities associated with it, are strong. As a result, every African leader, whether authoritarian or democratic, feels the need to profess their support for democracy. Despite the positive trajectory that I have described, we know that democratic progress is rarely smooth, linear, or direct. Setbacks occur and are inevitable. The recent military interventions in Mali and Guinea-Bissau reflect the problems that persist in Africa, where democratic institutions are weak and economic deprivation and impoverishment remain high. We also recognize that there could be other democratic backsliding in the future. But I remain optimistic that democracy is moving forward in Africa. As democracy continues to take root, a number of African leaders have managed to remain in power for long periods of time. Presidents Mugabe, Biya, al-Bashir, Dos Santos, Museveni, and Prime Minister Meles have all been in power for over two decades. Although they were all elected and reelected in multiparty contests, they have also manipulated or intentionally altered the political systems in their countries to ensure their political longevity. Presidents Museveni and Biya, in particular, have removed term limitations to stay in power. Some political leaders have also sought to transfer power to their children. We believe term limitations serve a valuable and useful purpose. They spur political mobility, help generate new ideas, break down political dynasties, and enhance accountability and good governance. They also prevent political rigidity and the monopolization of power by one person, or one family from one region, or from one ethnic group, from dominating the affairs of state, not only for a decade but for two or three. We have opposed third terms, but have generally reacted differently to them based on the country and the circumstances. Senegal and Cameroon are cases in point. We made our views clear on term limits most recently in Senegal when President Wade changed the constitution and sought a third term. We were deeply concerned that President Wade would throw his country into a constitutional or a political crisis by seeking a questionable constitutionally mandated third term, which he initially said he would not serve and which some of the country's most distinguished lawyers said was probably not legal. We acted because we were afraid that Wade's candidacy and victory might lead to widening violence and instability. Although the advocacy efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, this focused international attention on the conduct and outcome of a critical election. Ultimately, the Senegalese voters rejected Wade's bid at the ballot box and demonstrated unequivocally that strongmen are trumped by an engaged electorate and an active civil society with strong democratic institutions. Former President Wade's third-term bid is an example of a troubling countertrend. In the last 9 years, eight sub-Saharan countries have repealed the two-term limits on the Presidency. Those countries are Chad, Gabon, Burkina Faso, Togo, Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, and the Uganda. And the Presidents in other countries, including Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia, tried unsuccessfully to repeal term limits. The repeal of term limits raised questions about process as well as outcome. Self-interested governments proposed changes which benefited sitting Presidents who then used their control of the state to assure their reelections. The resulting elections are often meaningless, pro forma exercises that only serve to legitimize the longstanding status quo. Such leaders have embraced the language of democracy, but not its full meaning. In fact, some African governments lack the will to conduct free and fair elections in which the leaders know they might lose political or economic power. Senegal's civic and religious institutions proved to be a major positive force. Civic leaders and NGOs repeatedly assured us of their intent to support principles of good governance and to encourage their members to participate actively and peacefully in the political process. The majority of religious leaders remained impartial or nonpartisan, and made the greatest contribution to a successful process. Senegal has, thus, retained its democratic credentials and remains one of Africa's most respected democratic nations. With the eyes of the entire continent watching, the Senegalese demonstrated that an engaged electorate and active civil society can always trump strongmen. Cameroon also presents a challenge to democracy in Africa. While that country abounds with potential from natural resources and its geographic location, Cameroon's political leaders have taken advantage of their country's relative stability, prosperity, and system of patronage to entrench their leadership. The absence of transparency in the political and economic activities of the country have allowed the country to grow economically slower than it should have. It has also increased corruption and cynicism among the opposition, and many of the country's people. These policies have placed a premium on maintaining the status quo in lieu of embarking on reform. The 2011 Presidential election was seriously flawed. Polling stations opened late. Citizens were allowed to vote, in some cases, multiple times. And ballot box stuffing and voter intimidation were observed in various parts of the country. Even though the Cameroonian Supreme Court received credible complaints of irregularities from political parties, the court dismissed all the cases. Given Cameroon's political history, the United States has focused its policy on finding ways to influence the Cameroonian Government to adopt political reforms. We made our views clear early on the 2008 constitutional revisions that ended term limits by going in and asking President Biya not to do so. In 2009 we met with government, civil society, and opposition parties, and then worked with other diplomatic missions to boycott the swearing-in of the stacked electoral commission, simultaneously issuing a statement expressing our displeasure with its composition. In 2011, we financed and launched two ongoing civil society strengthening programs, one of which led to the creation of the Civil Society Forum for Democracy, which has become one of Cameroon's leading democracy advocacy organizations. We also worked with youth and women to encourage participation in politics and to get out the vote. I visited Cameroon in June 2011, and met with President Paul Biya to urge a transparent and free electoral process. In July 2011, Cameroon added six civil society and opposition members to its electoral commission and expanded enfranchisement to overseas Cameroonians. In October 2011, our Ambassador gave a strong speech, identifying lessons learned from the election and ways to bring about improvement. Following the conclusion of the elections, I wrote to President Biya, urging the reestablishment as soon as possible of term limits, the implementation of constitutional reforms, and a more transparent and independent electoral commission. We acted differently in Cameroon because the threat of violence and widespread stability were not as great or serious as they appeared to be in Senegal on the eve of the Presidential elections there. We also thought we should focus on empowering civil society and strengthening it, and encouraging President Biya to think of his legacy and to reverse his decision on term limitations. This year, we have worked with other diplomatic missions in Yaounde and sent a joint letter to the Prime Minister, suggesting possible improvements in the electoral process. Following our public and private comments, the government announced its decision to create a new voter roll based on a biometric voter card system, and to harmonize the election laws into a new single electoral code. I have laid out our concerns again to President Biya about the need for further democratic change. We hope that he will heed those concerns, looking toward his own legacy and the need to be able to ensure that Cameroon's democratic institutions are more important than the interests of one single individual. Although there is more work to do in Cameroon, we are seeing signs of a revitalized civil society, increasingly energized political debate, and, ultimately, more government engagement about how the country can deepen its commitment to reform and chart out a more democratic future. Overall, I remain upbeat about trends in democracy across Africa, where I can send you to see progress and note the positive steps taken to address the bad news in Mali and Guinea-Bissau, with African countries unanimously demanding a return to civilian democratic rule immediately in both of those countries. These stories are reminders that democracy is a dominant trend, although we can expect setbacks from time to time. The overarching African policy of the Obama administration is to promote the development of stable and democratic partners committed to the rule of law, human rights, transparent governance, and the welfare of their citizens. We believe that the long-term strategy of supporting democratic institutions is already paying off. As a result, we are continuing to prioritize our democratic funding, not only to assist in elections, but also to help strengthen governance, the rule of law, the promotion of women and civil societies, and also strengthening legislatures and judiciaries. I will stop right here, Mr. Chairman, and will take any questions that you have. [The prepared statement of Ambassador Carson follows:] Prepared Statement of Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson Chairman Coons, Ranking Member Isakson and members of the committee, I welcome the opportunity to appear before you today at this hearing: ``Examining the U.S Policy Responses to Entrenched African Leadership.'' Overall, I remain upbeat about trends in Africa, where I continue to see progress and note the recent good news coming out of Senegal and Malawi. Also I note the positive steps taken to address the bad news in Mali and in Guinea Bissau, with African countries unanimously demanding a return to civilian rule. All of these events are reminders that while progress in institutionalizing democracy is not always smooth and linear; democratization is the dominant trend around the continent. As you are aware, Mr. Chairman, this administration is committed to a positive and forward-looking policy in Africa. Indeed, we believe in Africa's potential and promise. While Africa has some very serious and well-known challenges, President Obama, Secretary Clinton, and I are confident that Africa and Africans will meet and overcome these challenges. In order to underscore the importance that this administration attaches to democracy, good governance and accountability, President Obama chose to make his inaugural Africa trip to Ghana. His speech in Accra applauded the efforts of Ghanaians to institutionalize democracy, noting that `` . . . In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success--strong Parliaments; honest police forces; independent judges; an independent press; a vibrant private sector; a civil society. Those are the things that give life to democracy, because that is what matters in people's everyday lives. Now, make no mistake: History is on the side of these brave Africans, not with those who use coups or change constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn't need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.'' In fact, our overarching Africa policy goal is to nurture the development of stable and democratic partners who are committed to the rule of law, human rights, transparent governance, and the welfare of their citizens. We believe that the long-term strategy of supporting, strengthening and sustaining democratic institutions is already paying off. As a result, we plan to continue to prioritize funding for democracy programs which reinforce good governance and the rule of law, and promote participation of women and civil society. We will also continue to work with the international community, including the Africa Union and African subregional organizations such as the Economic Community for West African States (ECOWAS), the East African Community (EAC) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and others to strengthen democratic institutions and build upon the democratic gains made in recent years. We will continue to use every diplomatic tool at our disposal to nurture long-term progress. CHALLENGES This brings us to the challenges at the heart of today's hearing. Africa has been making steady progress since the ``democratic third wave'' in the early 1990s. That progress continues today driven by the rising expectations of a younger generation which is fueling greater demands for economic and political change. More than 40 percent of the people living in Africa are under the age of 15 and nearly two-thirds are under 30. This new generation is increasingly urbanized, well educated, plugged into the Internet and demanding greater transparency and democratic accountability from their leaders. There exists a tension between the old and the new in sub-Saharan Africa today, where there are 11 leaders who have been in power for 15 years or more; and of those, 9 who have been in power for more than two decades. Some of these leaders emerged during their countries' independence movements or times of armed conflict and see themselves as indispensable to their country's future. Indeed, some of these leaders see themselves as the embodiment of the state. This dated desire to hold on to power conflicts with one of the most positive political trends in Africa over the last 20 years: the adoption of Presidential term limits. Twenty-three African countries limit Presidents to two terms in office. The introduction of terms limits has helped level the playing field and invigorated real political competition leading to opposition parties' power in a dozen countries. The United States continues to encourage countries in Africa and elsewhere to respect executive term limits. Term limits encourage the development of new leadership and institutionalize a democratic process and permit new ideas and policies to move forward. When democracy is threatened by strongmen trying to maintain their grip on power, we are not shy about making our views clear on the importance of term limits as you saw, most recently in Senegal, when President Wade sought a third term. We were deeply concerned that President Wade would throw his country into a constitutional or political crisis by seeking a constitutionally questionable third term, which he initially said he would not serve and which some of the country's most distinguished lawyers said was probably not legal. Although the advocacy efforts were ultimately unsuccessful, this did focus international attention on the conduct and outcome of this critical election. Ultimately, the Senegalese voters rejected Wade's bid at the ballot box and demonstrated, unequivocally, that strong men are trumped by an engaged electorate, an active civil society and strong institutions. Former President Wade's third term bid is emblematic of a troubling countertrend. In the last 9 years, the governments of seven sub-Saharan countries have repealed the two-term limits on the Presidency (Chad, Gabon, Togo, Cameroon, Guinea, Niger, and Uganda). Niger has since reinstated term limits. Presidents in other countries, including Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia tried, albeit unsuccessfully, to repeal term limits. The repeal of term limits raises questions about process as well as outcome. Self-interested governments proposed changes which benefited sitting Presidents who then use their control of the state to assure their reelections. Weak judicial and legislative branches approve changes in the constitution giving the changes a veneer of legality. The resulting elections are often meaningless, pro forma exercises that only serve to legitimize the longstanding status quo, a phenomenon that the Electoral Institute for Southern Africa (EISA) calls ``electoral autocracy.'' Such leaders have embraced the language of democracy, but not its full meaning. To be blunt, some African governments lack the will to conduct free and fair elections in which they might lose political and economic power. Instead they rig the system by monopolizing the media, harassing opposition figures, and otherwise closing political space. On a continent where most political and economic power still resides in the State, elections are too often viewed as a zero-sum game in which all spoils go to the winner. CONSEQUENCES Electoral autocracy has numerous negative consequences, captured in the data in international reports and studies compiled by Freedom House, the Mo Ibrahim Index, Transparency International, and the World Bank, among others. Most reveal a variety of problems including corruption, a lack of accountability, crony capitalism, and nepotism. These elements feed a rent-seeking class of well-connected elites who maintain a stranglehold on local economies. This behavior crowds out legitimate local entrepreneurs and fuels large disparities in income and opportunity. This can breed anger, resentment, and even violence, as we have seen in the countries impacted by the Arab Spring. STRATEGIES FOR CHANGE The political and economic success of Africa depends a great deal on the effectiveness, sustainability, and reliability of its democratic institutions. That means a focus on process and progress, not personalities. African leaders must recognize that the United States is engaged in building long-term ties with their people and not just with them. Credible, strong, and independent institutions are the key to both a deeper relationship with the United States and to their long- term success. We will continue to support efforts to strengthen democratic institutions and participation, including in countries with entrenched leadership. Specifically, we will focus on supporting good governance, strengthening Parliaments, and increasing the efficiency of judicial systems, and we will continue to provide assistance to encourage civic participation, so that young people get involved, and to fund concrete solutions to corruption such as forensic accounting to advance transparency and accountability. We believe economic development programs help build democratic institutions as well, because an empowered citizenry is the foundation of every strong democracy. Our Africa policy is built on anticipating that change is inevitable and that it can best be channeled through constructive action rather than destructive reaction. We have the same value-based discussions with all African leaders, during which we highlight our views about the importance of building strong democratic institutions, good governance, accountability and the role of civil society. Clearly there are countries where governments are more receptive and, indeed, responsive to that message. But that message is a consistent part of policy and outreach in all African countries. In order to enhance the effectiveness of our policy, we have a number of tools at our disposal. Our best tools are generally positive and often rest on trying to convince leaders that strengthening core democratic institutions are in the long-term interest of the country and could be an important part of their historical legacies. When the situation warrants it we can use public criticism, and more punitive measures such as diplomatic isolation, financial and diplomatic sanctions including travel bans. We have used sanctions with limited success on entrenched leaders in Sudan, Eritrea, and Zimbabwe. The results, frankly speaking, indicate that sanctions are not necessarily a silver bullet, but they do send an important message. In our increasingly multilateral world new tools are emerging. But the most important voices supporting democracy are coming from Africans. This was evident, for example, recently when the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS strongly denounced the coup in Mali, sanctioned the military junta, and demanded an immediate return to civilian rule. ECOWAS was also quick to make a forthright statement denouncing the military takeover in Guinea-Bissau last week and demanding a return to democratic rule. We would like to build on this, for example by working with the AU in supporting implementation of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance. The use of these and other tools we have furthered the long-term efforts to build strong African institutions. This can happen even in countries with entrenched leaders. But this is a long-term strategy. Realistically, in some places, it may take years before we see results. Democratization is a process and lasting substantive change does not happen overnight; it is generational. There is no simple recipe for change and reform, but consistent direct exchange provides a solid foundation on which we can base our actions. The case studies of Senegal and Cameroon are indicative of these long-term challenges. Many of the strategies we just noted are those we pursued in both of these countries. In Senegal, our efforts contributed to a positive outcome. While we and the rest of the international community can take some of the credit, the Senegalese themselves bravely demonstrated their commitment to democracy. That commitment paid off. In the case of Cameroon, the hard work continues, but we are no less optimistic that our consistent efforts and those of the Cameroonians themselves will eventually pay off. Let me offer a few details of each case. CASE STUDIES Senegal Our two countries share a longstanding commitment to democracy, good governance, and economic development. There has been a historical pattern of peaceful transitions of power through the ballot box in Dakar. The Senegalese take great pride in preserving the democratic values of their country, as evident by the coalition of opposition and civil society groups that formed to protest ex-President Wade's proposed constitutional amendments to election rules (which the government withdrew). We repeatedly encouraged and applauded the Senegalese people for their enthusiasm, patience, and civic engagement in making the election process as smooth as possible. While we respected Senegal's political and legal processes, we were concerned that President Wade's insistence on running for a constitutionally questionable third term could precipitate a crisis that might spark civil unrest and unravel his achievements. Wade's insistence on running for a third term also set a poor example for the spirit of democracy and good governance in the region. Especially since the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact signing ceremony in September 2009, we have tried to make clear to President Wade that democracy is government ``by the people, of the people, and for the people,'' which includes the right and ability of citizens to choose, participate in, and lead their governments--not merely a game of elections and candidates. We encouraged President Wade to put the interest of Senegal above his own personal interest to solidify his stature as a respected elder statesman. Senegal's civic and religious institutions proved to be a major positive force. We repeatedly met religious and civic leaders and NGOs, who assured us of their intent to support principles of good governance, and to encourage their membership to participate actively but peacefully in the political process. The role of the overwhelming majority of religious leaders in remaining impartial or nonpartisan arguably made the greatest contribution to a successful process. With a long history in international peacekeeping and participation in the international coalition for ``Operation Desert Storm'' in the early 1990s, Senegal's security services are among the most professional in Africa. State and DOD engaged them often, and they guaranteed they would maintain their unquestioned reputation for abiding by civilian authority and the rule of law. We congratulate them for their professional conduct. It was important that the USG collaborated with the international community in presenting a united front, particularly on election observation. Former Nigerian President Obasanjo led 200 observers from the African Union (AU) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The European Union (EU) deployed over 120 observers. We allocated $850,000 in funding in FY 2011 to train and support 1,400 independent election observers, deployed through nonpartisan Senegalese organizations. Also, the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization worked with the Africa Bureau and U.S. Embassy Dakar to develop an elections observation plan for both rounds of voting, analysis of the elections landscape, and planning around different contingencies for both rounds and potential outcomes. In the end, international observers and the Senegalese themselves judged the elections to be a credible expression of the will of the Senegalese people. Clearly this was a victory for Senegal, which has retained its democratic credentials and remains at the vanguard of democratic nations in Africa. Indeed, this may turn out to be a watershed moment in the history of democracy in Africa. With the eyes of the whole continent watching, the Senegalese demonstrated, unequivocally, that strong men are trumped by an engaged electorate, an active civil society and strong institutions. Cameroon Originally a single party state, since 1990 Cameroon has had a multiparty system of government with over 250 political parties today. However, the Cameroon People's Democratic Movement (CPDM) has remained in power since it was created in 1985. On October 9, 2011, CPDM Chairman Paul Biya won reelection as president, a position he has held since 1982. With the largest economy in Central Africa and historically the subregion's most stable country, Cameroon presents a dilemma for U.S. engagement. On the one hand, it abounds with potential from its natural resources, geographic location, climatic diversity, and rich soil. On the other hand, its relative prosperity and system of patronage has resulted in an entrenched leadership, tight restrictions on the political space of opposition groups, and an absence in transparency in political and economic activities. These policies have placed a premium on maintaining the status quo in lieu of embarking on reform. Our engagement with Cameroon has made some progress. The National Assembly passed an antihuman trafficking law and the judiciary convicted several child traffickers. The government presented a penal code that improves the rights of women, children, and detainees. The Cameroonian military intervened to deter elephant poaching and maritime piracy. Cameroon voted alongside us and even cosponsored resolutions with us at the U.N. And, as I will detail shortly, President Biya has made some efforts to improve electoral processes. The 2011 Presidential election was flawed by irregularities, including the failure to properly distribute all voter cards, late opening of polling stations, multiple voting, ballot-box stuffing, the absence of indelible ink, and intimidation of voters. Citizens residing overseas registered and voted for the first time. After the election the Supreme Court received 20 complaints from political parties, 10 of which demanded either the partial or complete annulment of results due to irregularities. On October 19 the court dismissed all the cases for lack of evidence or late submission. Given Cameroon's political history, the USG has focused its policy on finding ways to influence the Cameroonian Government to adopt political reforms. We made our views on the 2008 Constitutional revisions, which led to elimination of term limits, clear both privately to President Biya and in public comments. In fact, on March 7 and 8, 2008, then-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, James Swan, visited Yaounde to convey our displeasure with the constitutional change and the handling of the political violence in a one-on-one meeting with President Biya. At our urging and in consultation with us, the European Union and several other foreign missions issued a public statement urging more inclusive public debate on the constitutional amendment. In 2009 we met with government, civil society, and opposition parties and then worked with other diplomatic missions to boycott the swearing-in of the stacked election commission (Elections Cameroon or ELECAM), simultaneously issuing a statement expressing our displeasure with its composition. In 2011 we financed and launched two ongoing civil society strengthening programs--one of which led to the creation of the Civil Society Forum for Democracy, which has become one of Cameroon's leading democracy advocacy organizations. We also worked with youth and women to encourage participation in politics and get out the vote. I visited Cameroon in June 2011, met with President Biya, Prime Minister Yang, other Ministers, opposition leaders, and civil society to urge a transparent election. In July 2011 Cameroon added six civil society and opposition members to ELECAM and gave Cameroonians residing abroad the right to vote. In October 2011 after extensive election observation and consultations, our Ambassador gave a strong speech identifying lessons learned from the election and ways to improve. I subsequently wrote to Biya urging the reestablishment of term limits, the implementation of stalled constitutional reforms and a more transparent and independent electoral commission. This year, we have worked with other diplomatic missions and sent a joint letter to the Prime Minister suggesting possible improvements in the electoral process. Following our Embassy's most recent public and private comments, the Government announced its decision to create a new voter roll based on biometric voter cards, addressing a problem that has plagued previous elections, and to harmonize the various election laws in a single new electoral code. I have laid out some of our concerns in a letter this month to President Biya, as Cameroon's National Assembly considers the revised electoral code. So although there is more work to do in Cameroon, and indeed the institutionalization of democracy is in its nascent stages, we are seeing signs of a revitalized civil society, increasingly energized political debate and ultimately more government engagement about how the country can deepen its commitment to reform and chart out a more democratic future. And with that, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I want to thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today. I will be happy to answer any questions. Senator Coons. Thank you very much, Ambassador Carson, both for your testimony and for your leadership regionally on these important issues. I would like to invite Assistant Administrator Gast to give his opening statement at this point. STATEMENT OF EARL GAST, ASSISTANT ADMINISTRATOR FOR AFRICA, U.S. AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT, WASHINGTON, DC Mr. Gast. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Thank you, Ranking Member Isakson. It's a deep honor for me to be here before you. This is my first hearing, as you mentioned, Mr. Chairman, as the Assistant Administrator for Africa, so it truly is an honor. And I'm also very pleased to be before this committee once again. I had previously served as Senior Deputy Administrator for Africa Bureau. While the Mugabes and Bashirs of the continent dominate our overall impression of Africa, in reality, entrenched leaders are becoming the exception rather than the rule. Witness Malawi's peaceful transition in power following the death of President Mutharika this month. Witness the process to restore democracy in Mali spurred by the swift and decisive leadership of ECOWAS. ECOWAS itself is led by the President of Cote d'Ivoire, another country to recently emerge from a crisis with a stronger democracy. When seen against the backdrop of Africa's history, these events underscore striking improvements in democratic governance, despite the setbacks that grab our attention. As recently as the early 1990s, the region was dominated by a group of so-called ``big men'' who used fear and intimidation to cling to power and in the process decimated their country's prospects for development. Today, these ``big men'' are being replaced by skilled civilian states-men and -women who are transforming their societies and serving as role models for a new generation of reformers. Increasingly, these leaders are looking out for their neighbors, as the events in Mali have demonstrated, and they are becoming partners in development. Given these trends, USAID's response to the challenge of entrenched African leadership is based on three factors that have led to successful transitions elsewhere in the world. First, we are nurturing citizens' growing demand for political change, an increasingly powerful influence in situations where democratic backsliding is a threat. As Assistant Secretary Carson mentioned, in Senegal, when President Wade's effort to influence the electoral process became apparent, civil society forcefully rejected his attempt. Its voice was the engine that drew attention to the situation, prevented widespread fraud, and directly resulted in the peaceful transfer of power. Second, political transitions have involved increased pluralism, the gradual replacement of one-party states with multiparty systems that represent a diverse range of interests. In countries like Ghana, Malawi, and Zambia, power alternates among parties on a fairly regular basis. Since today's ruling party may be tomorrow's opposition, voters have meaningful choices to make and are an instrument of accountability and civility. In Uganda, President Museveni has overseen the gradual reopening of political space and the reintroduction of political pluralism. But, in exchange, he has tightened his grip on the Presidency. However, each election increases the risk of unrest by delaying the inevitable transition to a new generation of political leaders. The third element that we deem crucial in political transitions is strong checks and balances. Those are checks and balances that establish and enforce the rules of the game. Under intense pressure from civil society and the media, African Parliaments and electoral commissions have played a key role in upholding term limits in Ghana, Nigeria, and Zambia. USAID has spent years building the capacity of those institutions in advance of the ``third term'' debates each country. The leadership in Ethiopia lacks these checks and balances, and has significantly constrained political speech, human rights, civil society, and the media. As a result, Ethiopia has created an environment that is ripe for instability. It has also created a paradox about its position in the international community. On the one hand, the U.S. Government must maintain a close working relationship with Ethiopia as one of our key African partners in fighting terrorism and promoting food security, and in providing peacekeepers to some of the most difficult locations on the continent. In fact, with the exception of democracy-building, USAID's programs in Ethiopia are among the most successful in Africa, helping lift millions out of poverty. On the other hand, there are long-term risks that come from suppressing basic freedoms. Ethiopia's elections in 2005 could have resulted in the balance of power, but instead the ruling party attempted to destroy the opposition, and has since clamped down on basic freedoms. Unless restrictions are lifted and dissenting political views allowed, the country's gains in development and poverty alleviation will be threatened. What we have learned is that developing the conditions for true democratic transformation is a process that takes many years, often decades. USAID helps to support environments in which these conditions can emerge, but that transformation can only occur through the commitment of African leaders to serve the needs of their people and other people to meaningfully participate in their government. Thank you again for inviting me here, and we look forward to your continued support of good governance in Africa. [The prepared statement of Mr. Gast follows:] Prepared Statement of Assistant Administrator Earl Gast Good afternoon Chairman Coons, Ranking Member Isakson, and members of the subcommittee. Thank you for inviting me to speak with you today. It is always an honor to have the opportunity to discuss USAID's work with you, and, for me personally, it is a pleasure to appear before you again. This is an especially thought-provoking issue for us to analyze today. While the Mugabes and Bashirs of the continent dominate our overall impression of Africa, in reality, these entrenched leaders are becoming the exception rather than the rule. Witness Malawi's peaceful, constitutional transition of power following the untimely death of the late President Mutharika earlier this month. Witness the process to restore democracy and unity in Mali, spurred by the swift and decisive leadership of the Economic Community of West African States. ECOWAS itself is led by the President of Cote d'Ivoire--another country that recently came out of a political crisis with a stronger democracy. The recently ratified African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance also creates a powerful, African-owned platform for consolidating democratic gains and encouraging sound leadership on the continent. When seen against the backdrop of sub-Saharan Africa's five decades of independence, these events underscore the striking improvements in democratic governance and leadership that have gradually occurred in the region despite the setbacks that grab our attention. A generation ago, the profile of Africa's leaders left much to be desired. As recently as the early 1990s, the region was dominated by a group of so- called ``big men,'' many of whom came to power at the barrel of a gun rather than by the ballot box. Several were tyrants who ruled however they saw fit, using fear and intimidation to cling to power, and in the process, decimating their countries' prospects for progress. Nobel Laureate and Liberian President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf wrote about that era, ``Africa's crisis was a failure of leadership and management. Sub- Saharan Africa is rich in resources, talent, energy, and spirit. But it has not been rich in leadership. It is made up of rich countries that were poorly managed, and the results have been disastrous.'' Today, these ``big men'' are being replaced by skilled, civilian statesmen and women who are transforming their societies and serving as role models for a new generation of emerging reformers. In ECOWAS alone, 11 of the 15 current heads of state have served for two terms or fewer--a remarkable transformation from those days of long-reigning ``big men.'' These leaders include some of leading lights of not only Africa, but also of the developing world: President Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, former Fulbright Scholar and legal expert John Atta Mills in Ghana, and President Alassane Ouattara, who served as the deputy director of the International Monetary Fund before he began his decade- long journey to the Presidency of Cote d'Ivoire. These leaders, and a growing number of their peers on the African Continent, have come to power through peaceful and credible elections. Increasingly, they are supporting each other and looking out for their neighbors, as the events in Mali have demonstrated. Increasingly, they are becoming key partners in development through initiatives such as the Partnership for Growth whereby the leaders of Ghana and Tanzania are working hand-in- glove with the international community to identify and address key constrains to development. When their terms of office come to an end, a growing number of African heads of state now willingly and peacefully step down because of the term limits enshrined in their constitutions or because of an electoral defeat. According to the USAID-supported African Presidential Center at Boston University, more than 30 African heads of state are now in retirement after a peaceful transfer of power to their elected successors. At the same time, USAID is working to support civil society actors and government officials to prevent democratic backsliding in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, where President Joseph Kabila's actions have brought his commitment to DRC's hard-won democratic system and electoral process into question. Given these trends, USAID's response to the challenge of entrenched African leadership is based on the three factors that have led to successful transitions elsewhere: channeling the growing demand for legitimate, accountable democratic government into development opportunities such as open political processes and civil society engagement; , developing a broader range of leaders and supporting reformists, and supporting regional organizations to define and improve the ``rules of the game'' in African politics. Africans themselves have led these important transformations; USAID has provided support and assistance to their efforts. The growing demand for political change derives from the increasingly important role of civil society and independent media across Africa, coupled with greater access to information and the growth of an African middle class and a growing number of reformists in government. The African Development Bank defines ``middle class'' as having between $2 and $20 to spend a day, and about a third of Africans now fall into that category. With 44 percent of its population under age 15, sub-Saharan Africa is the youngest region of the world, and it is these youth who will be the engines of Africa's future. They have begun holding their leaders more accountable for performance, rather than ideology, and they are less willing to view politics as a zero-sum game waged between ethnic or regional factions for control over state resources. This new generation demands the ability to exercise its right to vote in free, fair, and credible elections, as well as to keep the political pressure on leadership to respond to the needs of their citizens once the campaigns have ended. In Senegal, USAID focused on supporting the role of civil society to demand reforms, improve transparency, register young voters, and encourage credible elections. Senegalese civil society played a critical role in drawing attention to the efforts of President Abdoulaye Wade to influence the electoral process and improve the odds that he and his family would retain power. In June 2011, President Wade proposed an amendment to the constitution that would remove term limits and establish a Vice Presidency--allegedly to install his son Karim as his successor. Senegalese civil society erupted in uncharacteristic protest, causing the President to withdraw the proposal. Discontent continued to simmer, fueled by the peaceful protest of youth organizations like Y'en a Marre ([yawn-a-MAR]: ``We've Had Enough''). By January 2012, when a Constitutional Court decision allowed Wade to formally declare his candidacy, the streets of Senegal erupted again, this time in sporadic violence and daily protest. The international community, including Senators Coons and Isakson, Congressmen Donald Payne and Christopher Smith, former President, Jimmy Carter, and former Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, appealed personally to President Wade to respect the letter of the constitution and will of the Senegalese people, and not pursue a third term. His public refusal to do so refocused attention on the electoral process and redoubled the commitment of Senegalese civil society to advocate for democratic principles. An orderly, peaceful election day demonstrated the will and maturity of civil society and the Senegalese political establishment. USAID-supported international and domestic election observation, as well as technical assistance to electoral management bodies and the election oversight committee, helped to shine a bright light on the electoral process and prevent the occurrence of widespread fraud or tampering. As the returns came in showing Wade trailing his opponent, former Prime Minister, Macky Sall, the President had no choice but to admit defeat. With this fair and credible election, Senegal reinforces its status as the vanguard of West African democracy, and may serve as an example to other African nations with leaders seeking to entrench themselves. President Sall has committed to strengthening the independence of key political institutions and pursuing numerous reforms, including a negotiated settlement of the decades-old rebellion in the Casamance region. USAID is coordinating with other members of the international community to continue to support the realization of these reforms and the consolidation of Senegalese democracy. In Sudan, the government regularly stifles open public discourse by cracking down on peaceful public protests and closing and intimidating media, which has severely limited citizens' access to information, including on the violence in Darfur and the Three Areas--and a rejection of the principle of democratic transformation that is at the heart of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement Khartoum signed in 2005. To encourage more open and inclusive public dialogue about Sudan's future, USAID has been helping Sudanese youth and civil society leaders learn ways to make their demands for change heard, including building the capacity of youth organizations in marginalized regions to engage in promoting peace and reconciliation. USAID is also supporting grassroots efforts by Sudanese civil society to have a dialogue on creating a more democratic and inclusive government, and we support initiatives to promote public discourse on constitutional reform. Ultimately, these modest efforts at educating and engaging Sudanese citizens about their political future will help to serve as a foundation for the country's eventual transition from dictatorship to a sustainable democracy. USAID's partners continue to face challenges operating in Sudan because of government restrictions on visas and permits to travel within the country, an issue the United States Government has raised repeatedly with the government. In addition to the growing demand for change, transitions from entrenched leaders in Africa have involved increased political pluralism: the gradual replacement of one-party states and military- dominated governments with multiparty political systems that represent a more diverse range of interests and perspectives. In countries such as Ghana, Malawi, Senegal, and Zambia, power alternates among two or more major parties on a fairly regular basis. Since today's ruling party may be tomorrow's opposition, voters have meaningful choices on election day, and the empowerment to make those choices serves as an instrument of accountability and stability over the long term. In another group of countries, including Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa, a national ruling party shares power with other parties that govern various states, provinces, and municipalities. In all these countries, USAID has supported work by the National Democratic Institute and International Republican Institute to professionalize political parties, encourage party reform, support party coalitions, provide advice on organizing campaigns and develop the next generation of political leaders within and out of government, focusing on women as well as youth. In Uganda, so far, this strategy is making modest but measurable progress. President Yoweri Museveni has overseen the gradual reopening of political space and the reintroduction of political pluralism in exchange for the removal of term limits for his own Presidency. However, each election increases Uganda's exposure to the risk of unrest by delaying the inevitable transition to a new generation of political leaders. Ugandans are becoming more and more impatient for change and intolerant of the growing evidence of corruption that has tarnished even the highest levels of government in recent years. To bolster multiparty democracy and representative governance, USAID implemented a 3-year program that strengthened linkages among and within three key actors in the Ugandan Government's ``nerve system'': Parliament, local government structures, and civil society groups. The pioneering program, which worked to create a ``voice'' among the citizenry and ``listeners'' among the government, significantly strengthened key partners, particularly district and subcounty assemblies, the national official opposition, and civil society. The program also increased accountability and transparency in district governments by opening space for public scrutiny. The final element of success in political transitions is strong constitutional and institutional checks and balances that establish and enforce the rules of the game. Under intense pressure from civil society and the media, African Parliaments and electoral commissions have played a key role in upholding constitutional term limits in Ghana, Nigeria, Malawi, and Zambia. USAID spent years building the capacity of those institutions and organizations in advance of the ``third-term'' debates in each country. USAID also monitors the extent to which civil society and the media face repression or restrictions in various countries, through two annual indices on media and civil society sustainability that complement the State Department's annual Human Rights Report and other independent sources of information, such as the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. An example of where these checks and balances were tested before a strong democratic foundation became sustainable is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The Presidential and legislative elections held in November 2011 were widely anticipated as an opportunity for the DRC to continue to consolidate democratic gains made during its successful post-conflict transition, culminating in the democratic election of a President and Parliament in 2006 through a nationwide, transparent and credible electoral system. In the DRC's second national election millions of Congolese citizens went to the polls to vote in an election that featured 11 Presidential candidates and over 18,000 legislative candidates. In contrast to the first post-conflict national elections, international and domestic observers, noted considerable problems throughout the process--in the preelection period, on election day, during the tabulation of votes, and in the process for electoral dispute resolution. The management of the electoral process by the Independent National Election Commission (CENI), changed by the President just 8 months before election day, was generally inadequate. The environment in which citizens, political parties, civil society, news media, and other stakeholders sought to exercise their rights to participate in the political process was sometimes hostile and inequitable. And although political violence was significantly less severe than many feared, it was nonetheless a serious problem. Secretary Clinton stated that the entire process was ``seriously flawed, lacked transparency, and did not measure up to the democratic gains we have seen in recent African elections.'' The U.S. Government and the international community will likely have a role to play in ensuring that future elections in the DRC are more credible, and in preventing further democratic backsliding. However, the process must be driven by the Congolese leadership--and governed by laws and institutions established during the transition period that created a level playing field and a credible system for balloting, counting, confirming, and announcing winners and losers--if the results are to be meaningful and lasting. The new CENI leadership needs to demonstrate to the Congolese people that it has the capacity to successfully manage future elections in an efficient and transparent manner. A thorough investigation of election-related violence, including incidents perpetrated by members of the security services and the opposition, would send the message that the government of the DRC and the political class take seriously their commitment to promote democratic processes and human rights. Journalists and human rights defenders detained illegally for their work should be released. Successful reform will require professional and fair coverage by the media. Finally, it is vital that the judicial personnel of the appellate and trial courts are capable and well trained on election law in advance of performing their complaint adjudication responsibilities. Ethiopia is one of the starkest examples of the risks that emerge when a country lacks sufficient democratic checks and balances. By significantly constraining political speech, human rights, and the ability of civil society and the media to hold government officials accountable, the Ethiopian Government is creating an environment that is ripe for instability and that sends mixed messages about its place in the international community. On the one hand, the U.S. Government must maintain a close working relationship with Ethiopia as one of our key African partners in fighting terrorism, countering the effects of global climate change, promoting food security, and providing peacekeepers in some of the most difficult locations in Africa such as Darfur. In fact, with the exception of democracy-building, USAID's programs in Ethiopia are among the most successful anywhere in Africa. Ethiopia commands a growing presence in global economics, and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his colleagues in the Ethiopian Peoples' Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) can take credit for lifting millions out of poverty and improving living standards in Africa's second-most populous country. As seen in the Horn of Africa's recent food crisis, millions of Ethiopians were able to withstand the worst effects of drought due in part to the Ethiopian Government's work with the international community to build resilience to climatic shocks. On the other hand, the experiences of Ethiopia's neighbors in Africa and the Arab World demonstrate the long-term risks of instability that come from suppressing basic freedoms. In 2005, Ethiopia held the most free and fair elections in its modern history, in which opposition parties appeared to have won a substantial minority of parliamentary seats. This outcome could have resulted in a balance of power-sharing between the ruling party and opposition, and a real opportunity for political development to match the economic modernization underway in the country. Instead, the ruling EPRDF attempted to destroy the opposition or drive it underground. Since then, a systematic campaign has clamped down on basic freedoms. These actions, including domination of the 2010 elections and the passage of restrictive laws like the Charities and Societies Proclamation, have gained the EPRDF unprecedented control over the political life of Ethiopia and a brittle form of stability in the near term. However, in the long term, Ethiopia is now in danger of reliving its history of turbulent political transition. Unless restrictions on civil society and the media are lifted and dissenting political views are allowed, the country's substantial gains in economic development and poverty alleviation will be threatened. Integrating democracy and governance work into the significant investments the United States is making in other sectors, such as food security and health, will give us important opportunities to support social and economic resilience in Ethiopian society outside of the ruling party structures and, to the extent feasible, participatory decisionmaking. To this end, USAID has developed a strategy that promotes a cross-cutting approach that builds democracy, human rights, governance, and conflict interests into its varied portfolio. The strategy will minimize investments in democracy and governance--such as human rights defenders and civil society support--until diplomatic or other efforts open the political space for more robust engagement. USAID has also developed a cross-sectoral objective in its strategy to promote citizen participation and social accountability around service delivery. In Zimbabwe, our top priority remains supporting the transition to a multiparty democracy that can address the needs of its population, as envisaged in the Global Political Agreement. The lack of development in Zimbabwe, a country that was once the breadbasket of southern Africa, is directly related to poor governance, making the country a tragic but notable example of the linkages among governance, food security, poverty, and health. USAID is supporting the efforts that exist within the government to improve basic conditions for Zimbabwe's citizens. We seek partnerships to strengthen local organizations that are providing key services and support to the local population--not only to meet immediate needs, but also to demonstrate that better governance can lead to better lives. Operating in a transitioning state has been especially challenging for our local partners: in the process of trying to improve health, livelihoods, freedom, and human rights for their fellow Zimbabweans, they face harassment and threats from the very government that should be their ally. We know that change must come from within the country, and it will not happen overnight. USAID is currently working on a new Country Development Cooperation strategy for Zimbabwe that will help to advance such change. U.S. support has been able to make considerable progress in Zimbabwe in certain areas. USAID's concerted efforts have assisted reform-minded elements of the government in carrying out institutional reforms critical for moving the country towards democracy. For example, the parliamentary committees are now regularly holding public hearings on key pieces of legislation including those addressing human rights and electoral processes and efforts to revise the parliamentary standing rules now allow the Prime Minister a question-and-answer time for the first time. Demand for change, political pluralism, and checks and balances, rule of law: these are among the most vital conditions for true democratic transformation-- a process that can take years, if not decades. USAID helps support environments in which these conditions can emerge, but that transformation can only occur through the sustained commitment of African leaders to serve the needs of their people, and of their people to have a meaningful voice in their government and the means to hold their leaders accountable. We must focus on the long-term institutional and structural weaknesses that compromise the rule of law, erode the quality of governance, and make citizens subservient to their governments, rather than the other way around. And it is only then that countries can begin to realize their development potential and begin to achieve sustainable progress and growth. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Isakson, and members of the subcommittee for inviting me here today and for your continued support of good governance overseas and USAID's work to support it. Senator Coons. Thank you very much to both of our witnesses from the first panel for your opening statements. I'm going to begin 7-minute rounds, and we'll see how many we go through before we get to our second panel. I like to start, if I could, just by focusing in on Cameroon for a moment, and then perhaps on a few other examples. If you could, Ambassador, just tell us about the state of the political opposition in Cameroon, what are the scenarios in which there might be a transition to a more democratic and open regime there, a more improved system there? I was grateful for your detailing the many steps that were taken by our country, Ambassador; by you personally, by our allies. What else can or should be done, using regional leadership in partnership with African-led organizations, whether through retired senior statesmen from other countries, ECOWAS, the African Union, or others? What are the other players and the other roles that they might contribute to moving forward in Cameroon, in particular? Ambassador Carson. Mr. Chairman, thank you very much. Change is inevitable, and democratic change is inevitable in Cameroon. President Paul Biya has been in power for close to three decades. He's close to 80 years of age. And so time will catch up with him eventually. We have sought to engage him, to encourage him to think of his legacy and the interests of his country over his own personal ambitions. And we have argued for reestablishment of term limitations, improvement in the electoral commission, and implementing a number of constitutional changes that have been approved but never carried out. We have sought also to work and strengthen civil society, working with various of civil society groups in Cameroon to increase their capacity to speak clearly, openly, and actively about their interests. And we think that helping to strengthen civil society is an important part of the democratic process. We've also tried to encourage the strengthening of Parliament, so that the legislature is, in fact, a more independent, robust organ of government. We're going to continue to push very hard in this area. I think that on the outside, your voice, the voice of this committee, your expressions of interest, your writing to President Biya in the same manner that you wrote to President Wade is a useful indication to him that the international community is very focused on what is happening in that country and the need to be able to put in place stronger institutions and methods of transition, which will ensure stable transition when it comes. As I mentioned in my testimony, we worked very closely with our other democratic partners in the international community, particularly the British and the French and the European Community, to also push for the kinds of changes that we think support democracy. And we hope that, over time, there will be a louder and more independent voice within the African Union, which will recognize the importance of maintaining term limitations in order to ensure peaceful transitions. This is very important. The AU has taken some democratic stances and policies that are very good. They do not allow Presidents in countries to sit in the AU when the leader has come to power through military intervention or a coup d'etat. They do not allow those countries to come back in until there have been elected leaders appointed in those countries. So those are some of the things that are out there. Senator Coons. If I could, just one other question about funding. You've recognized, Assistant Administrator Gast, that in Ethiopia, for example, you've got some of the most successful USAID programs around health, food, Feed the Future, PEPFAR, PMI, but some of the least successful in terms of democracy and governance, in terms of demonstrable progress. How do we account for the balance? How do we ensure the successful implementation of democracy and governance initiatives? And what can we do to advocate for stronger, more effective funding in this area? Mr. Gast. You ask a very good question, Senator Coons. It's something that we have debated internally within AID, certainly with Assistant Secretary Carson and the interagency. Because the people of Ethiopia are so vulnerable to shocks, it is in our national interest to support the people of Ethiopia. And we do that through a variety of ways. You mentioned, of course, PMI, on malaria, and on HIV/AIDS, on food security. And as a result of our sustained efforts of working with the national government but also local organizations and local governments, we have had sustained, positive impact. As you point out, space for us to work with civil society organizations has essentially closed. It closed about 2\1/2\, 3 years ago, with the passage of the charities law. And for us, in effect, our programs specifically working on independent media, promoting civil society, electoral reform, those programs have come to an end. What we do do in all of our programs, the initiative programs, is focus on trying to develop grassroots civil society organizations, within the context of the law, certainly, but recognizing that a grassroots approach is the approach that we can take now and will have positive effect in years to come. So what does that mean? It means that if we are working in improving the educational system, it's helping to form PTAs and strengthen PTAs, so that they can advocate before local governments to improve services. So it's essentially a strategy focused on, with regard to democracy and governance, strengthening user groups, so that they are able to advocate for better, improved services. Senator Coons. Thank you. Senator Isakson. Senator Isakson. I want to bring up a subject I'd like for both of you to just respond to, because it's something that will wake me up at night, sometimes worrying on Africa in particular. My son wrote his doctoral thesis on something called the ``Dutch Disease,'' which primarily is a Middle Eastern derivative, where the countries have an infinite supply of wealth in terms of oil and petroleum. And they never develop infrastructure, and they use the money to maintain the power of whatever the ruling family is. In fact, with the exception of Israel and Jordan, that's pretty much the modus operandi for most of the Middle East. Africa, with the discovery of oil and gas, particularly on the Gulf of Guinea and along the coast of West Africa, the potential for the Dutch Disease to infect some of those countries worries me, because if you had a leader who got in control of that wealth and used that wealth to placate the electorate, but not for the electorate to develop and develop the infrastructure necessary, then you could have a second situation like the Middle East. And I'd like for both of you to comment on that and see if that's a justifiable fear, or if there is anything that we should be doing to help alleviate that from happening. Ambassador Carson. Senator Isakson, a very good question, one that we are very much concerned about. Let me say that oil and petroleum riches in Nigeria have been an enormous curse for that country. As oil production has gone up since the early 1970s, agricultural production has gone down. As oil production has risen, corruption has spiraled. As oil production has gone up, we have seen greater immiseration and poverty in the northern part of the country, as well as in some other parts of the country. And we have seen leaders in that country take enormous advantage of their access to oil and cash, and undermine the interests of the people. Just yesterday, within the last 48 hours, a British court convicted a former Nigerian Governor, James Ibori, to 13 years in jail for stealing some 7.7 million dollars' worth of revenue from Nigeria and from his state. This is one that is very sad. One could almost argue, and there are obviously people here who know more about Cameroon than I do, is that the little oil that Cameroon has helped to provide a cushion for President Paul Biya's patronage system, and also helped to fuel corruption in that country. Cameroon has significantly less oil, but I would argue that oil has probably been behind some of the corruption, some of the patronage, that has helped to keep Paul Biya in power. The issue is important, as you point out, because there are new oil-producing states all around Africa, and gas-producing states as well. We see oil being found in places like Uganda, reports of major oil finds onshore in places like Kenya for the first time. There are huge gas deposits in Tanzania and Mozambique, and we see new oil just last year in very significant quantities in Ghana, and oil being discovered in Liberia and other places in West Africa. Senator Isakson, in my conversations with the leaders of Ghana, and with the leaders of Uganda, in particular, I have said very clearly that they should take the high road and not the low road, that as they start to develop their oil interests, they can go either one way or the other. They can follow the Nigerian route, where Dutch Disease and corruption and oil pollution have led to enormous problems, or they can follow the Norwegian route, where oil has helped to enrich that country, provide it with great infrastructure, great schools, and great hospitals. These are the alternatives out there. The Nigerian route where oil causes enormous poverty as it brings in billions of dollars in wealth, or it can go the Norwegian route, where government is made better. These conversations we do have, and they are, in fact, very candid, as I say here, very clearly, I have spoken to a number of African leaders who are just about to become rich with oil. And we have said, you won't get a second chance to make a first good impression in the oil industry, if you go badly with us. I can say that the Ghanaian Government has done a very, very good job. They seem to be steering very, very correctly across--and following the laws and being transparent. We want others to pursue the same kind of transparency and not to become victims of the Dutch Disease. Senator Isakson. Mr. Gast. Mr. Gast. We are also very concerned about the possibility of Dutch Disease on the continent. One area of focus for us has been Ghana, and Ghana, as you know, is a Partnership for Growth country. Three years ago, USAID's former chief economist led a mission out to Ghana specifically looking at Dutch Disease and consulting with the government. And as a result, we formed a project providing technical assistance for not only the U.S. Government but also international partners, to include the Norwegians, in advising the government to come up with an approach that will help to reduce the possibility of moving into Dutch Disease. As you know, of course, Senators, if an economy relies just on one commodity, exports, the currency is strengthened and, therefore, it weakens the competitiveness of any of its other potential exports. So part of the exercise that the interagency has done, U.S. Government interagency with Ghana, is to develop a partnership with Partnership for Growth with Ghana that looks at multiple aspects of the economy to help reduce the risks of falling into Dutch Disease. Senator Isakson. My time is up. Thank you both. Senator Coons. Senator Inhofe. Senator Inhofe. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to have described to me the administration's position on entrenched political leaders, the idea that longevity seems, in and of itself, to be bad. And I know that, Mr. Carson, you were quite outspoken back when Museveni was making the moves that he was making in terms of objecting to that. What is the thinking behind that? You know, in our country here, we didn't--until the fourth term was over with FDR--we didn't have term limits. I mean, can you tell me what the thought is behind that, to establish this policy for us to follow? Ambassador Carson. Thank you, Senator, for that question. We think that third terms are not very useful for Africa because they monopolize power in the hands of one individual, one family group, one region, one ethnic community, for extended periods of time. When leadership at the top goes unchallenged, then it also becomes unaccountable. That leadership becomes entrenched, and we see things like corruption and political patronage spiraling out of control. And there is a lack of response and respectability and accountability to its citizens. It is something that is of concern, because there is a tremendous yearning across Africa for democracy and for the opportunities that democracy presents. Senator Inhofe. I think, you know, the poster child for that concept is Zimbabwe, when you stop and you study back in the Rhodesia days and what one person can do to destroy a country, one person. On the other hand, there are a lot of them that--are you getting into--I'm not really sure what side I'm on on this thing, I just want to find out the reasoning for this. Is there a thought that we should be--we're actually not interfering. I think what you're saying is they have a constitution, and we want to say, yes, you should live by your constitution. Is that generally what our position is? Ambassador Carson. Let me say, Senator, that we hope we are on the side of accountable and responsible government. We hope that we are on the side of the people who should have a regular opportunity to select and choose their leaders. We believe that in many instances, once leaders take power, and stay in office for extended periods of time, they begin to manipulate the process, change the rules of the game, shrink the political space of the political opposition, and entrench themselves in power, to the detriment of the financial and political interests of the nation as a whole. That entrenched leadership tends to generate political unrest, and also instability at the same time. And we think that by allowing for term limits and the ability of political parties to be able to nominate people for the Presidency is a good thing, not only amongst the opposition, but also within the political parties that are in power themselves. Senator Inhofe. Well, have you thought about the fact that they might be thinking, are we interfering with what they would call their democratic process, their ability to make their determinations? It's a tough call, and I understand that. I happen to believe that--I disagreed with you in the case of Uganda, and probably Ethiopia, too. But I also know what some of the problems are there. When we helped establish--and I was instrumental on the Armed Services Committee in doing this--AFRICOM, the year before it had been a part of three different commands, and I thought this would be a good thing, a unifying thing. At the time, my vision was that we should have the headquarters of AFRICOM in Africa, on the continent. And this is interesting because, since this is not an executive session, I wouldn't want to mention the names, but four different Presidents that I brought this up to agreed with me, but they all said the problem is their electorate wouldn't understand. They would see this as a movement back to the days--and I think that's right. I only bring this up because I conceded to that, and I think they are correct. And of course, the day before yesterday, I was at Stuttgart, at the headquarters there. It's working very well. They're coordinating with EUCOM. But I also notice that it's very difficult for politicians to resist the temptation to try to move these headquarters around. There's been an effort in Texas and Florida. And I don't know whether Georgia has been in on this deal or not, but anyway, I have a strong feeling that it would be a bad move to move the headquarters of AFRICOM to the continental United States. What do you think? Ambassador Carson. Senator Inhofe, thank you for attempting to put my head into the jaws of a crocodile. [Laughter.] This is an issue that is the preserve of the Department of Defense. I think that the Defense Department has the mandate and responsibility for determining where its headquarters installations are to be located. And I will let them make the judgment. Senator Inhofe. OK, I understand that. I would just say that that shouldn't be a determination. You should be under consultation when those decisions are being made. And I can assure you that General Ham would welcome your opinions on such things. I know my time has expired, but just one last question, if I could. I know I offended a lot of people back when we were going through--when Alassane Ouattara won, according to some, the election against Laurent Gbagbo, I made nine speeches on the floor that I know offended a lot of people, but I had such strong feelings about it. And I happened to know at the time I was making those, and even to a lesser degree today it's true, that Alassane Ouattara's death squads are still roaming around the streets of Abidjan. And I've talked to people who are living on those streets, and I know that that's true. I had made a recommendation, and I tried to get the State Department, with whom I disagreed, back during this election, Alassane Ouattara's election was primarily motivated by the French, of course, and they brought the U.N. in, and we kind of followed course there. My feeling at that time was, even though--regardless of whose election votes you count, it was a close vote. And I thought for the long-term peace of Cote d'Ivoire, it would be a good idea, rather than go to The Hague with Gbagbo to go to a country that would offer asylum and not create hostility among the followers of Gbagbo. I still think that would've been a good idea, and we didn't do it. And he is in The Hague now, and I'm sure we'll never see him again. However, his wife is somewhere, and I don't know where she is. Everyone tells me they know where she is but me. And I would only request that that might be a good option for her, because there are a lot of followers of the Gbagbos that that would make a very positive impression on. And I'm not asking for your opinion on this thing, because I know this is controversial, and it's probably contrary to the administration's view. But just as one member, and a member who has been over for 125 country visits as of 2 days ago, that I feel would be a good solution to that problem. Ambassador Carson. Senator, thank you very, very much. Let me if I can quickly explain; we firmly believe that Alassane Ouattara won that election. We know what the vote count was throughout the country, because the count was given to the U.N., and they shared it with various missions. Mr. Gbagbo refused to step aside and sought to manipulate the process. We gave him an exit, sir. We gave him an exit. We were engaged on this on two accounts, on the democracy side and also on the side of trying to prevent and mitigate a conflict, which is one of our fundamental principles. President Obama sought to speak to Mr. Gbagbo on two different occasions. Secretary Clinton reached out to him. We arranged an opportunity for Mr. Gbagbo to leave Cote d'Ivoire and to take up residence in this country as a distinguished academic scholar. And he was a professor before he entered politics. He rejected all of those overtures, which would have given him an out. Between his arrest and transfer to The Hague, our people saw him when he was in incarceration in the northern part of the country. He was always treated with respect and dignity, and was not in any way harmed or hurt. The same with respect to Mrs. Gbagbo. I personally asked our folks to go up and meet with her, to see whether she had been in any way harmed or assaulted by the troops who captured her. She was interviewed in private by a female Embassy officer, so that we could get information. I will find out where she is right now, and again ask my folks whether we can request to see her again. I was in Abidjan in January with Secretary Clinton. We had an opportunity to meet with most of the senior levels of the government, including President Ouattara and Foreign Minister Duncan. We saw an Abidjan that was in full recovery mode, a place that was returning to normalcy. We have not seen or heard of these death squads. And in fact, just 2 weeks ago, our Under Secretary for Management signed off on allowing our officers to take their children and their dependents back into Abidjan. I believe that the security situation is improving rapidly and continues to improve. Mr. Gbagbo is a case of an individual who engaged in illiberal democracy, who took power, and who was refusing to leave, even though he had sponsored an election and lost. Senator Inhofe. OK, I certainly don't want to get into this. There are a lot of things that you have said that I disagree with. I would only say this, that the things that he was guilty of, in terms of his behavior in holding up and not taking us up on offers, he was convinced that the election was not an open and honest election. On the Senate floor, I presented a lot of different evidence that would back that up. I don't know whether you looked at that, examined that. I never heard from anyone in the State Department during that time. But I only offer that at this time because I thought--and, by the way, in terms of Simone Gbagbo, we have pictures where her hair was pulled out and half-naked--I mean, we had a hearing on that. Remember that? Senator Coons. Yes. Senator Inhofe. We had a hearing here, and I didn't know who the people were in the audience. It was kind of interesting. They were overwhelmingly in agreement with me, as opposed to the State Department, on this. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator Inhofe. We will now thank you for the testimony of our first panel. Given the march of time, we are going to move, if we can, to our second panel. We're privileged to have Dr. Chris Fomunyoh and, as I mentioned before, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, who have come to join us and to share their perspectives on entrenched leadership and the various tools and mechanisms for making progress on the continent. Gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us today. Dr. Ibrahim, I would like to invite you to make your opening statement, if you could. STATEMENT OF DR. MO IBRAHIM, FOUNDER AND CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD, MO IBRAHIM FOUNDATION, LONDON, UK Dr. Ibrahim. Thank you, Chairman. And I'm really honored, Senator, to be here. Thank you very much for giving me this opportunity and this honor. And I'll try to be brief. I know we're running out of time maybe. Let me start by saying it's really important to remember that democracy and good governance and human rights are really universal values. And this is not an American invention. And it's very important in the language we use that we be careful with the language. I'm talking now from a position here of the Congress, we are not trying to impose in Africa an American way of life or an American--these are values which happen the American people, the American Government adheres to, and actually all civilized people ought to adhere to. So that sort of the language I think is important--to use when we address Africa. And a couple things are happening in Africa, which are very important. One is a rise of civil society, which is a new phenomenon, and it's really important and changing what is going on there. The African institutions themselves are improving, and we can see the roles played by organizations like the African Union, or like ECOWAS, in dealing with conflicts, et cetera. And we really should focus on strengthening these institutions to allow them to help resolve the conflicts, like what happened in the recent conflicts in Mali. That's much easier, because, the American Government will not put troops on the ground in Mali. I mean, I understand, it's not easy, given the climate, what's happened, et cetera. But it's up to the African regional institutions to really do that. What the American Government should do is to support these institutions in playing the role they ought to play. One question, I heard people actually talking also about the AFRICOM. There is something called the African Standing Force. The African Union has agreed to put this standing force which is there to stop any kind of atrocities at the beginning, if there is a new Darfur or a new situation, it's much easier to stop fires when they are small. And maybe that's more important, actually than AFRICOM. With very little support in logistics, the United States can really help this African Standing Force to really deal with the issues. That would be less controversial than trying to put American soldiers in the group--or Special Forces, whatever. And that's also being very acceptable to the American public and, indeed, to the African people as well. The issue of longstanding African leaders who refuse to budge is a problem. And it has a number of facets to it. One element of it I think is also human, which is those guys have nowhere to go. I mean, it's also a human problem. You do your 4 years and say, OK, thank you very much. Give us the keys back and you can leave your helicopter here, and shall we call you a taxi? So, European leaders and U.S. leaders have a wonderful life after office. Actually, usually they start to make money after they leave office. Check everybody. The halls of JPMorgan or major banks and oil companies, et cetera, are full of ex- leaders, et cetera, which is fine. They have great experience to help businesses, et cetera. They publish books, memoirs, and they really are OK. Our African leaders don't have that opportunity, and if after office, you're really facing a life of poverty, it is a human problem. And what we need is to create space for us to use the experience of these leaders who served to really help resolve conflicts, do something at multilateral organizations, et cetera, or indeed the academic positions offered here to one leader who refused it, unfortunately, and ended up in The Hague, which is a very good example, actually, of people refuse a decent exit. They should end up in The Hague, in my view. So it's really important to think positively instead of just negatively. How can we help people really do that transition? There is life after office, and that life can be wonderful. And you can always see American President--I always told Mr. Clinton, President Clinton, that, really, I think what he is doing now maybe is more important than what he did in office. He doesn't like that, but I think that's my personal view anyway. So there is good life after office, if people are engaged in, and we need to emphasize that for people. The United States is doing something wonderful, really, and nobody hears much about it, which is the Millennium Challenge Corporation. That is a wonderful and innovative piece of intervention. And not many people are aware of what the MCC, Millennium Challenge Corporation, is doing, and who has been given the grants and what for, et cetera. And I think it is really important to celebrate. We always look at the negative, have to shout or call names for people like Mugabe. We don't think of how we celebrate the people who are doing good things, because that in itself can be an incentive for other people to also do good things. And I ask a question, if the Millennium Challenge Corporation this year, for example, decides that two countries qualified, they have done wonderful progress in the area of governance, and they really need to give them some grants, why don't you get those two leaders here to have a cup of tea with President Obama, get some media, and everybody sees those guys. And then our leaders in Africa sees this happening and they think, oh, my God, I would like to be having tea with Obama over there. That's great. It will cost you exactly $3, two cups of tea. That's all it will cost you. And it's something which really celebrates and shows the positive aspects of doing good for your country. In my foundation, I mean, we do a couple of things. One of them is a prize for the African leader who does wonderful work democratically, live democratically, clean hands, and really move the people forward. And the prize is $5 million and security, $200,000 for life, et cetera. The idea of that is to create a life for the leader afterward, and then you go on and live and work in civil society. But has also another objective in that it is honor, the honor of--I mean, when you win the Nobel Prize, you don't say, ``Oh, I got $1 million.'' You say, ``I got the honor of winning the Nobel Prize.'' So that honor is very important. Recognition is very important. And I hope the Congress or the White House can also recognize our winners. What bugs me as an African is that everywhere I go, I ask people in any lecture, who knows Mugabe? Everybody raises their hand. Who knows Mobutu? Everybody raises their hand. Who knows Omar Bashir? Everybody raises their hand. Who knows Chissano? Nobody knows. Who knows Mogae? Nobody knows. Nobody knows President--nobody knows who President is. We have a lot of unsung heroes, people who make tough decisions, brought peace to their lands, revise their economy, and left with clean hands and fine. Why the world doesn't know these people? Those people should be recognized, and it costs nothing. Mr. Chairman, just a coke. Get the guys here, give them a coke, get the CNN to show it. That is important. When we did not give the prize, the year before, we did not award the prize. The effect was great, because everybody said, oh, why is this guy and this guy did not get the prize? It leads to scrutiny. So whether you give the prize or don't give the prize, you do something important, which is you're raising the issue. That becomes a central issue for the debate about governance and leadership. Why my leader did not win it? Why did this guy won it? Why is Obama honoring this man? Why is he not honoring him? This is also important issues in dealing with that. Of course, we do the index as well, which really shows what is--how performance of each country, because governance is measured. It's not because we like this guy or don't like that guy. It is about good deliverables, and that's really important. One thing also that's really important, and I really want to thank the U.S. Congress for doing, very important, is the transparency bill you passed on natural resources, the oil and gas industries, the amendment by Senator Cardin and Senator Lugar. That was a wonderful piece of genius. It doesn't cost anybody any money in this hard time. But it puts the light on a very important area. And I go all over Europe now. I'm talking to the European Parliaments and people, and say look at your colleagues in the United States. They switched on the light. You are sitting here lecturing us about transparency, but you're doing nothing. You have a lot of Parliaments now trying to mimic what you're doing by doing that. By ensuring transparency, you're doing much more toward the development in Africa, actually, than all the aid money you give it, because Africa is not poor. Africa is rich. But we are mismanaged. We have corruption. We have money stolen, et cetera. Let us clear that area, and then we don't need much aid really, after doing that. But I really thank you for showing leadership in fighting corruption. Yesterday, we heard about the British Government starting corruption case against an oil company in Africa. We should do that. Last year, seven European companies were fined something like $600 million or $700 million by the U.S. Government for corruption out there. And I again ask our friends in Europe, look, Europe is bankrupt. Why aren't you, you know, prosecute your own guys and get the $700 million instead of the Americans? But that is something that is a brand of America, of really rule of law. And it carries a meaning--corruption. And we salute that brand. And it's very important for you to maintain that brand of good governance. And I was really disappointed recently when I see U.S. again claiming ownership of the World Bank. What's the big deal? Does it matter that the president of the World Bank is Zoellick or some other American citizen? Why doesn't--when your ambassadors in Africa go to lecture our people about process, about openness, ``you cannot put a finance minister in who is your cousin or who is from your tribe,'' et cetera, how can he say that with a straight face when the U.S. decides that the World Bank international institutional really should not be run by merit, it should be run by passport? That is inconsistent. That damages the U.S. brand. So the United States also needs to walk the talk. Thank you very much. [The prepared statement of Dr. Ibrahim follows:] Prepared Statement of Dr. Mo Ibrahim As the Honourable Committee seeks to review United States policy options with regard to African heads of state whose behaviour challenges United States values and objectives, the wording might benefit from some amendments. The manipulation or disregard of constitutions by African heads of states is, primarily a violation of African values and objectives. Democracy and good governance are not American values, they are universal. All nations that subscribe to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international legal instruments must uphold those values. Therefore the approach of the United States in seeking to reinforce those norms must begin from this premise. Since the transformation of the OAU in to the AU in 2001, there has been a paradigm shift that has allowed states to intervene in the affairs of other sovereign states. Furthermore, in recent times we have seen African Regional Economic Communites, ECOWAS in particular, take a very strong and unified position on heads of state who behave unconstitutionally. The immediate expulsion of Niger from ECOWAS when President Tandja tried to extend his mandate (and more recent actions regarding Cote d'Ivoire and Mali) show the political cohesion and force that these communities can--probably in a more efficient and sustainable way than any foreign partner--bring to bear on errant member states. Thus, by supporting and endorsing regional economic communities to take the lead on such issues, the United States can bolster the capacity of these hugely underresourced African institutions to solve crises while avoiding accusations of interfering in the affairs of sovereign nations. And this is probably the most efficient way to get results Contrast this approach with that adopted by Prime Minister Blair in Durban in 2002. By singling President Mugabe out for sustained criticism, Tony Blair inadvertedly caused other heads of state from the SADC region--who were at that time showing signs of frustration with regime--to close ranks against ``colonialist arrogance.'' Consequently, it has been impossible for SADC to take a progressive position on the political situation in Zimbabwe. More broadly, one must shift from a focus on individuals and naming and shaming to a focus on institutions and building incentives. While those institutions must be African, the incentives used can be more universal. One of the core reasons behind instituting the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership was the interest to to set examples for the continent and to prove that excellence in African leadership was indeed possible. But an equally important rationale was that of creating a life after office. While any retired heads of state elsewhere--whether or not he/she has demonstrated excellence in leadership--can serve on corporate boards and leverage their previous experience into high-profile and highly lucrative work, such opportunities rarely exist in Africa. Therefore, there is an incentive for leaders to remain for as long as possible and to ensure their financial security while in office. While the Prize seeks to redress this, much more could be done in this regard. Retired heads of state have vast experience and networks that could be brought to bear on some of the challenges facing the continent. One traditional route is leading African Union or Commonwealth election observer missions. It is worth noting the extremely important, and unrecognised, role that Former Nigerian President, Olesegun Obasanjo, played as AU Head of Observer Mission during the recent elections in Senegal. Moreover, as we see the ``African Renaissance'' generation of heads of state drawing to a close and the rise of a much younger and more technocratic leadership generation whose agendas are more national than international, it may be appropriate to create mechanisms for former heads of state to represent Africa in a unified way in global climate and trade negotiations. Such challenging, high-profile, and prestigious roles would offer exactly the kind of life after office that could contribute to a higher turnover of leaders. The United States has successfully identified how incentives can promote the good governance agenda through the Millennium Challenge Corporation. Initiatives that seek to praise rather than blame and isolate are invariably more constructive. More could be done in this direction through endorsing initiatives such as the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and the Natural Resource Charter, as well as facilitating resolution of land tenure issues. Such initiatives that clearly delineate public assets and create a sense of public ownership will invariably help to mitigate the trend whereby heads of state conflate national and personal assets. Conversely, approaches that focus too much on the individual and seek to hold them up to great acclaim or condemnation, perpetuates personalised rule. The U.S. approach to democracy and good governance, in comparison with other countries, has the unique advantage of being consistent with the identity and brand of the United States. However, this is undermined when U.S. processes are not seen to conform to principles of good governance around contentious issues such as the U.S. ``ownership'' of the World Bank Presidency and even the debate that surrounded the United States Presidential election in Florida in 2000. In this regard, the most effective intervention would be to ensure that the government was able to practise what it preaches. If not, the subsequent loss of legitimacy will render good governance goals unattainable. Finally, in assessing the impact of the Ibrahim Prize on governance in Africa, I believe that the most important outcome is the debate that has been created, the speculation over whether incumbents will or could win or over whether predecessors should have won. It is exposing the record of heads of state to scrutiny and creating awareness that, upon retiring, they will be assessed by their peers very publicly. In her most recent book, President Johnson Sirleaf discusses her ambition to win the Prize. One other, now retired, head of state mentioned the Prize in his rationale for not seeking another term. For an initiative only 5 years old to begin to change behaviours is a source of real affirmation for the work of our organisation. Moreover, if we have had some success, it is because the Prize was designed as a response to a lack of incentives in this space and an understanding that individuals of all nationalities are motivated by the same things. Last, but not least, while we focussed on individuals, it was from the perspective of seeking to praise rather than blame. In summary, the greater the emphasis on supporting African institutional positions on these issues and working to align the incentives of heads of state with regular democratic transitions, the greater the likelihood of success. Senator Coons. Thank you, Dr. Ibrahim. Dr. Fomunyoh. STATEMENT OF DR. CHRISTOPHER FOMUNYOH, SENIOR ASSOCIATE AND REGIONAL DIRECTOR FOR CENTRAL AND WEST AFRICA, NATIONAL DEMOCRATIC INSTITUTE, WASHINGTON, DC Dr. Fomunyoh. Chairman Coons, Ranking Member Isakson, on behalf of the National Democratic Institute, I really appreciate the opportunity to discuss potential United States policy responses toward entrenched African leadership. For more than 25 years, the National Democratic Institute has conducted programs alongside African Democrats to support and consolidate the democratic governance on the continent. The institute has conducted programs in 44 of Africa's 54 countries, and I've been fortunate to have been part of that effort for the past 19 years. Many Africans and African experts agree that the entrenched one-man rule, often autocratic in nature, is an impediment to political development in many African countries today. Despite the continent's abundant human capital and rich mineral resources, long-serving leaders inhibit the emergence of democratic political space, and many African countries still suffer a democracy deficit as a result. In some cases, these leaders are octogenarians holding tight at the tip of a demographic triangle where two-thirds of the adult population is under the age of 35. At the same time, significant political change has occurred in Africa in the last 2 decades. For example, between 1960 when many African countries achieved independence, and 1990, only three heads of states voluntarily retired from office in Africa. However, as a result of oncoming democratic transitions, by 2000 the number of heads of state that have either retired from office or stepped down after losing an election has risen to more than 30. Also, subregional organizations have adopted protocols on governance and elections that have facilitated the renewal of political leadership in member states. For example, by insisting on strict adherence to constitutionality and credible elections among member states, the Economic Community of West Africa States, ECOWAS, have given most of Africa a facelift. In fact, today only two of the regional blocs of 15 countries are ruled by leaders who have been in power for more than 10 years. Similarly, norms and guidelines adopted and enforced by the Southern Africa Development Community, SADC, have facilitated peaceful political transitions and renewed leadership in countries such as Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. Nevertheless, in still too many African countries, entrenched leaders hold onto power in defiance of democratic practices and norms enshrined in international instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which require that citizens have the opportunity to renew their political leadership through regular and credible elections. In June 2005, NDI and a number of organizations brought together 15 former African heads of state from 14 countries in Bamako, Mali, to share ideas on why some African leaders facilitated political transitions in their respective countries while others impeded the process. In the Bamako declaration issued at the end of the meeting, these African leaders affirmed that, ``changes of power and political succession should always be based on constitutional rule in democratic principles.'' In early 2012, Senegal's democracy was tested by controversy on the candidacy of incoming President Abdoulaye Wade, which was viewed by many Senegalese as contrary to term limits enshrined in the country's constitution. Thanks in large measure to effective grassroots mobilization by Senegalese civil society, the media, youth movements, and political parties, the electoral process was safeguarded, and the country experienced a credible transition of power. The Senegal example illustrates that other tenets of democracy had taken root across Africa, and when properly harnessed or mobilized can serve as the firewall to democratic backsliding, and in the process, remind African leaders that there is life after the statehouse. The experience of Senegal contrasts sharply with that of Cameroon, a country that obtained independence the same year, 1960, and that has comparable governmental institutions. For the past 50 years, Cameroon has failed to conduct a national election that was not overshadowed by controversy. In Cameroon, the opaque handling of electoral processes and government-imposed hurdles impede the ability of civil society and independent media to monitor and report on elections. Cameroonian youth, prompted by restrictive laws and a lack of confidence in the country's political system and institutions are becoming apathetic and apprehensive of their future. After the Presidential election of 2011, which was widely criticized as poorly conducted by both domestic and international observers, the incoming head of state, who has been in power for 30 years, acknowledged publicly the need for electoral reform. Yet this commitment was followed a few days ago by amendments to the election law that restrict citizen participation in politics and shrink political space even more. There is increasing concern that the lack of political will to create the appropriate framework for credible and democratic elections in Cameroon while preserving an incumbent entrenched regime in power may push the country to the brink of violence and instability. The international community needs to demonstrate the political will to continually helping African democrats to uphold the high standards they have adopted for themselves. Along those lines, the African Union's charter on democracy, election, and governance calls for states to regularly hold ``transparent, free, and fair elections'' that provide citizens a voice in the selection of their leaders, and authorizes sanctions when incoming governments fail to abide by the outcome of free and fair elections or amend their constitutions to infringe on the principles of democratic change of government. The international community and the African Union should ensure that African governments adhere to the provisions of the charter. An increasing number of brave and courageous Africans are holding themselves and their leaders to higher standards of democratic performance. Today, unlike 2 decades ago, the comparison is not between the poor performing African states or African regimes and the United States, or other established democracies. The comparison is between the poor performance in other African countries that face similar economic and development challenges but still endeavor to give their citizens their rights and dignity they deserve and being proud of their constitutions and their elections. Despite the setbacks faced by African democrats beaten down by entrenched regimes, citizens' voices on the continent are being heard increasingly. And governance trends are moving in a positive direction for the most part. The continent is not doomed to failure, even on the leadership index. Africa has its share of emerging visionary leaders, and I remain optimistic that should the collective support for democracy be sustained and enhanced, new success stories will emerge. I've submitted longer testimony in writing, and I want to thank you, Mr. Chairman and Senator Isakson, for your time and attention. [The prepared statement of Dr. Fomunyoh follows:] Prepared Statement by Dr. Christopher Fomunyoh Mr. Chairman and members of the subcommittee, on behalf of the National Democratic Institute (NDI) I appreciate the opportunity to speak with you to discuss potential U.S. policy responses to entrenched African leadership. For more than 25 years, NDI has conducted programs alongside African democrats to support and consolidate democratic governance, advocate for fair and credible elections, strengthen political parties, and encourage citizen participation in politics, especially among women and youth. The Institute has conducted programs in 44 of Africa's 54 countries, and I have been fortunate to be part of that effort in many of those countries for the past 19 years. That has meant numerous and sustained interactions with pro-democracy activists and democratically elected leaders across the continent. INTRODUCTION Many Africans and Africa experts would agree that entrenched one- man rule, often autocratic in nature, is still an impediment to political development in many African countries today. Despite the continent's valuable and abundant human capital and rich mineral resources, many African countries still suffer a democracy deficit because of long serving heads of state whose actions inhibit the emergence of an enabling environment that could permit the continent to realize its full democratic potential. In some cases, these leaders are octogenarians holding tight at the tip of a demographic triangle where two-thirds of the adult population is under the age of 35.\1\ At the same time, significant political change has occurred in Africa in the last two decades since the beginning of what has been termed the ``third wave of democratization'' in the early 1990s. For example, between 1960, when many African countries achieved independence, and 1990, only three heads of state voluntarily retired from office. However, as a result of ongoing democratic transitions, by 2000 the number of heads of state that had either retired from office or stepped down after losing an election had risen to more than 30.\2\ In 1980, while rating democracies around the world, Freedom House ranked only 4 sub-Saharan African countries as ``free'' and 15 as ``partly free''; by 2011, 9 were ranked as ``free'' and 22 as ``partly free.'' \3\ Also, some subregional bodies have adopted protocols and guidelines on governance and elections that strengthen democracy and have facilitated the renewal of political leadership in member states. For example, by insisting on strict adherence to constitutionalism and credible elections among member states, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has given most of West Africa a facelift despite the recent military incursions in the politics of Mali and Guinea Bissau. Today, only two of the regional bloc's 15 countries are ruled by leaders who have been in power for more than 10 years. Similarly, because of norms and guidelines adopted and enforced by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Southern Africa has experienced peaceful political transitions and renewed leadership in countries such as Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, and Zambia. Nevertheless, Africa is a mosaic and a tapestry whose leaders project many shades of political performance and varying degrees of democratic credentials. In still too many African countries, entrenched leaders hold onto power and govern their countries in complete defiance of democratic practices and norms enshrined in international instruments, such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which call for citizens to have the opportunity to renew their political leadership through regular and credible elections. \4\ In almost all cases, the provisions of the Universal Declaration are also adopted in the preambles of the constitutions of these countries, but they are ignored or amended at will to suit the personal quest for political self-preservation of the leader. As of the start of 2011, 10 African heads of state had been in power longer than 20 years.\5\ The ``Arab Spring'' has reduced the number of North African autocrats in the past year, but the number of entrenched leaders remains high in sub-Saharan Africa. It is noteworthy that most of these leaders are concentrated either in the Horn of Africa or in the Gulf of Guinea, two areas that should be of significant geostrategic value to U.S. interests and attention. In June 2005, NDI brought together 15 former African heads of state from 14 countries in Bamako, Mali, to share experiences and ideas on why some African leaders facilitated political transitions in their respective countries while others impeded the process. The group also discussed ways that former African heads of state could continue to contribute positively to addressing the major challenges of democratic governance and human development on the continent. The African Statesmen Initiative was developed in part to highlight the role that former leaders can play as elder statesmen. In a Bamako Declaration issued at the end of the meeting, these African leaders restated their firm belief that democracy remains the ``sole form of government that permits the development of the range of national institutions needed to ensure sustainable peace, security, economic growth, and social well- being,'' and committed themselves to using their ``good offices to promote development objectives and advance democratic governance.'' \6\ Members further affirmed that ``changes of power and political succession should always be based on constitutional rule and democratic principles,'' and they expressed grave concern that many countries on the continent still failed to meet such requirements for democratic transitions. Shortly after the Bamako summit, the heads of state present formally launched the Forum for Former African Heads of State and Government (Africa Forum), a group of 33 with ``strong democratic credentials'' that engages in activities to promote sustainable peace and security, enhance democratic governance and protect human rights.\7\ Many of these leaders have launched private foundations to continue good works in their respective countries, and are increasingly involved in conflict mediation and peacebuilding, election monitoring, and other humanitarian causes across the continent. SOURCES OF ENTRENCHMENT In many cases, long-serving leaders stay in power by repressing political dissent and manipulating electoral and constitutional processes within their countries. While in the 1990s people-driven democratization efforts through national conferences and inclusive constituent assemblies led to successful constitutional reform in many countries, in the last decade we have seen constitutional backsliding in countries whose constitutions were amended to abolish term limits and thereby allow longserving leaders to prolong their stays in office. In most cases, the amendments were rushed through Parliaments without broad-based, inclusive discussions or extensive consultations that would have allowed more citizen input in the process. These cases epitomize the fragility of constitutionalism and institutions of checks and balances in many countries on the continent because while most constitutions in Africa may be well-written, their full and just implementation lags behind. As the bedrock upon which the nation-state is anchored, the fundamental law of the land ought not to be trampled upon with impunity else laws pertaining to issues such as human rights, the administration of justice, the protection of minorities, women's interests, and the protection of private enterprise can be easily ignored or set aside. While more African countries now hold regular elections that meet international standards, there is a correlation between flawed Presidential electoral processes and longevity in office. Entrenched leaders are more apt to structure the rules governing elections to ensure victory. Even if some of these leaders publicly embrace the rhetoric of political pluralism and competitive elections, their actions are often geared toward limiting political space and participation by creating an uneven playing field. Although elections alone do not a democracy make, multiparty elections are a pillar of democratic governance. Elections also create multiple opportunities to gauge the vitality of a country's democracy using benchmarks such as: the right of free association, as citizens and candidates engage in campaign activities across the country; the independence and impartiality of the judiciary, which may be called upon to rule on election-related grievances and needs to assure citizens that they can obtain fair and equitable recourse through nonviolent means; the professionalism and neutrality of security services; and the faith of citizens in civil discourse and tolerance of diverse viewpoints. Elections are a vehicle for the participation of citizens in the democratic process, and they help to build capacities that are central to achieving accountable, democratic governance. So when the rules around elections are designed to achieve a particular outcome, societal cleavages are exacerbated and the possibility of violence increases. In democracies, elections remain the sole mechanism through which leaders negotiate and enter into a social contract with citizens as they develop and debate policy positions, and ultimately obtain the mandate to govern. Should a leader steal an election or bend the rules in this very public negotiation, then it becomes easier for such a leader to transgress other laws and public obligations relating to accountability, transparency, the fight against corruption, honesty in government and other principles of good governance. Such issues become less significant in the eyes and daily conduct of that leader. IMPACT OF ENTRENCHED LEADERSHIP Not only do entrenched leaders manipulate constitutions to deny citizens access to regular and credible elections, they are apt to further weaken governmental institutions to impede checks on their power. Moreover, state resources, including the public treasury, are likely to be diverted to serve private interests. Also, a disproportionate amount of national resources are likely to be allocated to regime security with vital aspects of human security relegated to the periphery. It is therefore no surprise that these longserving regimes measure poorly in multiple social accountability indicators such as Transparency International's Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) and the Millennium Development Goals, even when they are oil-rich countries with moderate to high income per capita. African heads of state that insist on remaining in power for decades are antithetical to the growing sense of optimism among Africans and friends of Africa about the continent and its future. They also are an oddity on a continent in which an estimated 83-percent of the population is under the age of 40,\8\ which explains in part the reason why even though Africans remain strongly committed to democracy, they are equally less pleased with the performance of many of their leaders. Despite the challenges of democratization in today's Africa, NDI is heartened by a recent Afrobarometer study that showed that a large majority of Africans continue to aspire to the ideals of democracy. While satisfaction with the performance of leaders in the countries sampled had dropped in the last decade from 61 to 56 percent, support for democracy among citizens had grown from 69 to 72 percent in the same period.\9\ TURNING THE TIDE Through the first quarter of 2012, Senegal's democracy was tested by controversy over the candidacy of incumbent President Wade, viewed by many Senegalese as contrary to the term limits enshrined in the country's constitution. Thanks in large measure to effective grassroots mobilization by Senegalese civil society, the media, youth movements and political parties, the electoral process was safeguarded and the country experienced a credible transition of power. The Senegal example is significant because it illustrates that other tenets of democracy are taking root across Africa, and when properly mobilized can serve as a firewall to democratic backsliding. To Wade's credit, his timely concession was unprecedented for an African leader who had tried at a minimum to push the envelope in terms of his stay in office. That concession is also a reflection of a greater trend toward democratic governance in many parts of Africa and an increasing recognition by African leaders that there is life after the State House. The experience of Senegal contrasts sharply with that of Cameroon, a country that obtained independence the same year--1960--and that has comparable governance institutions. Unlike in Senegal, for the past 50 years, even after the return to multiparty politics in 1990, Cameroon has failed to conduct a national election that was not overshadowed by controversy. Over the years in Cameroon, the opaque handling of electoral processes has aided manipulation by government official at all levels, and administrative hurdles impede the ability of civil society and independent media to monitor and report on elections. Political discourse is highly polarized, and there is a distinct unwillingness among the ruling elite to recognize the rich, diverse viewpoints that exist within Cameroonian society. Cameroonian youth, prompted by restrictive laws and a lack of confidence in the country's political system and institutions, are becoming apathetic and apprehensive of their future. After the Presidential election of 2011, which was widely criticized as poorly conducted by both domestic and international observation missions,\10\ the incumbent head of state, who has been in power for 30 years, acknowledged publicly the need for electoral reform. Yet this commitment was followed a few days ago by the government adopting amendments to the election law that restrict citizen participation in politics and shrink political space even further. There is increasing concern that the lack of political will to create the appropriate framework and mechanisms for credible democratic elections, while preserving an entrenched regime in power, may be pushing the country to the brink of violence and instability. The cumulative effect of these factors impedes the bright and prosperous future for Cameroon that other African countries such as Senegal, Ghana, Benin, and Botswana have come to take for granted. Cameroonians realize that in the past 30 years, Senegal has had four Presidents-- Leopold Sedar Senghor, Abdou Diouf, Abdoulaye Wade, and Macky Sall--and its reputation continues to grow across the continent and around the world; and they wonder why, over the same 30-year period, a de facto one-man rule has imposed itself on them. In a number of other African countries, Parliaments have vetoed attempts by incumbent Presidents to extend their terms of office, even when the majority in Parliament belonged to the incumbent party. This remarkable show of independence and commitment to constitutionalism and the rule of law among African legislators contributed measurably to fostering peaceful democratic transitions in Nigeria in 2007, Malawi in 2002, and Zambia in 2001. These examples highlight the role that countervailing institutions--legislatures, the media, and civil society--play in balancing the power of the executive, with the corollary understanding that as these institutions gain in credibility and performance, they become more adept at curbing entrenched leadership. RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY AT LARGE Clearly, citizens living under entrenched regimes have no access to the freedoms that their peers enjoy in more democratic societies. They often live with a constant threat of repression, intimidation, and harassment if they attempt to make their voices heard. The absence of proper mechanisms for dialogue between citizens and those that govern in these societies means that citizens have no choice when their frustrations overflow than to express them in the public space, often at the risk of vociferous repression and loss of life. In Cameroon in 2008, riots linked in large part to grievances over the government's decision to amend the constitution and eliminate term limits were severely repressed and officially left 40 young men and women dead, although credible human rights organizations, including the Catholic Church, reported over 100 deaths.\11\ By strengthening representative institutions and civil society organizations, the international community can help African democrats consolidate or deepen the fragile democratic gains of the last two decades. Independent election commissions are essential to holding credible elections that create a level playing field for all contestants, and nonpartisan citizen election observers can deter manipulation and provide information about the credibility of election results. A well-organized, vibrant civil society can be an effective watchdog against the emergence of entrenched leaders. More effective legislatures and independent judiciaries can provide safeguards to the many Africans that aspire to be governed democratically. While international support for development of these institutions can increase the possibility of strong counterbalances to entrenched leaders, consistent public diplomacy can go a long way in assuring African democrats that they are part of a global community of democrats with shared values and ideals. As African regional bodies operationalize protocols to promote and protect democratic governance, the international community should demonstrate the political will to support these regional networks in upholding the high standards they have adopted for themselves. Along these lines, the African Union's Charter on Democracy, Elections, and Governance, now ratified by enough African countries to be binding, calls for states to regularly hold ``transparent, free, and fair elections'' that provide citizens a voice in the selection of their leaders. Furthermore, the Charter authorizes sanctions when incumbent governments fail to abide by the outcomes of free and fair elections or amend their constitutions to infringe on the ``principles of democratic change of government.'' \12\ Regional organizations such as ECOWAS and SADC have adopted similar protocols aimed at fostering democratic governance and have shown firm responsiveness to unconstitutional maneuvers such as the recent coups in Mali and Guinea-Bissau and the flawed Presidential election of November 2011 in The Gambia. The international community and the African Union should ensure that African countries adhere to the provisions of the Charter and relevant protocols to foster democracy and consolidate the gains of recent years. The international community can also highlight the role of elder statesmen and increase recognition for leaders who govern justly and facilitate peaceful and meaningful leadership transitions that respect the letter and the spirit of the constitutions of their respective countries and international norms. Along these lines, NDI expresses its appreciation to Dr. Mo Ibrahim and his Foundation for his leadership in this regard and for helping reinforce the message to incumbent African leaders that there are meaningful opportunities in life after office. Even if more needs to be done in specific countries based on the particularities of each case study, the international community at large will do well to recognize more firmly that African aspirations for democracy are genuine and legitimate, borne not just in the universality of freedom and democratic values but also in the very fundamentals of African culture--respect for human life and human dignity. In today's globalized world, as events in one country or continent impact developments in other spheres, denying leadership opportunities to a whole generation of African youth and emerging leaders deprives Africa and the rest of the world of the tremendous talent, exuberance, and energy that the continent is capable of contributing to a better world in the 21st century. It is a travesty of generational injustice that a handful of leaders should be the perpetrators of such deprivation. CONCLUSION An increasing number of brave and courageous Africans are holding themselves and their leaders to high standards of democratic performance. Today, unlike two decades ago, the comparison is not between the poor performing African regimes and the United States or other established democracies; the comparison is between the poor performers and other African countries that face similar economic and developmental challenges, but still endeavor to give their citizens the rights and dignity they deserve in being proud of their constitutions and elections. Despite the setbacks faced by African democrats pinned down by entrenched regimes, citizens' voices on the continent are being heard and governance trends are moving in a positive direction for the most part. The continent is not doomed to failure, even on the leadership index. Africa has its share of success stories with emerging visionary leaders, and I am optimistic that should the collective support for democracy be sustained and enhanced, new success stories will emerge. ---------------- End Notes 1. U.S. Census Bureau, ``International Data Base.'' 2012 population estimates for Chad and Cameroon. 2. Goldsmith, Arthur A. ``Risk, Rule, and Reason in Africa.'' African Economic Policy Discussion Paper 46, (Washington: USAID, 2000). 3. Freedom House. ``Freedom in the World'' 1980 and 2011. (http:// www.freedomhouse.org/report-types/freedom-world) 4. United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21. (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a21) 5. Muammar Gaddafi of Libya (42 years as head of state), Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea (32 years), Jose Santos of Angola (32 years), Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe (31 years), Hosni Mubarak of Egypt (30 years), Paul Biya of Cameroon (29 years), Yoweri Museveni of Uganda (25 years), King Mswati III of Swaziland (24 years), Blaise Campore of Burkina Faso (24 years), and Zine Ben Ali of Tunisia (23 years). 6. Bamako Declaration of the African Statesmen Initiative.( http:// asi.ndi.org/about/declaration/bamako_declaration.pdf) 7. The Forum of Former African Heads of State and Government (Africa Forum): In Brief. (http://www.africaforum.org/images/stories/ pdf/africa%20forum%20brief.pdf) 8. U.S. Census Bureau, International Data Base. 2012 population estimates for sub-Saharan Africa. 9. Afrobarometer Surveys. (http://www.afrobarometer.org/index.php) 10. ``The Electoral Process in Cameroon: What Are the Lessons Learned?'': Remarks by Ambassador Robert P. Jackson at the Civil Society Post-Election Roundtable. 19 October 2011. (http:// yaounde.usembassy.gov/sp_10192011.html) 11. U.S. Department of State, ``2008 Human Rights Report: Cameroon,'' February 25, 2009. (http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/ 2008/af/118990.htm) 12. The African Union, ``African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.'' http://www.africa-union.org/root/au/Documents/ Treaties/text/Charter%20on%20Democracy.pdf) Senator Coons. Thank you. Senator Isakson, did you want to say something in conclusion? Senator Isakson has to leave. I will have a few more questions. Senator Isakson. I apologize for that. I want to commend Dr. Fomunyoh. Is that---- Dr. Fomunyoh. That's correct. Senator Isakson. With Isakson, I'm always sensitive to pronunciation. Dr. Fomunyoh. Thank you. Senator Isakson. I want to commend you. Your prepared statement is a very thoughtful history, really, of Africa and democracy that everybody ought to read, and you make some outstanding points about the success of Nigeria and Malawi and Zambia as a trend that is taking place in Africa. And Chairman Coons and I visited Benin and Ghana last year about this time, with Ghana, President Mills has done a remarkable job. And I think what Dr. Ibrahim talked about in terms of that MCC, there's no better example of the payback of MCC than in Ghana, where we had taken the pineapple industry, which for them was a great industry, but so perishable. And now, because of an MCC grant, we've been in the chiller where they have 14 plantations together, where they store, process, and then ship the pineapples. And it's just been a phenomenal experience to see MCC and its requirements on doing away with corruption and making investment in the country pay off. So I want to thank both of you for your testimony and for your love of Africa. And I want to commend this history piece that you wrote for us, Doctor, it's outstanding. And I'm going to take it with me and make it a part of my library. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. Senator Coons. Thank you, Senator Isakson. And thank you for your attendance and leadership today. I have a few more minutes and then there is a budget committee hearing, which I, too, must join. Dr. Fomunyoh, I just wanted to bear down for a moment on Cameroon in particular. You heard the testimony of Assistant Secretary Carson earlier. He urged us to write a letter to President Biya, much as we did jointly, Senator Isakson and I, to President Wade of Senegal. We talked about a variety of different tools available to the AU, to the African community, to civil society, and to the United States. What advice do you have for us about what we could do to be constructive, to make progress in Cameroon? And what do you see as the costs for Cameroonians of 30 years of governance by one man and by one group? How has it affected the average Cameroonian? Dr. Fomunyoh. Thank you very much. Mr. Chairman. I think that it's a lot that you have already been doing. Just by holding this hearing, I've been made to understand that there's been a lot of discussion already in the independent media in Cameroon about the attention you are bringing to African issues within the U.S. Congress. There are a number of public diplomacy tools that really don't cost anything, as Dr. Mo Ibrahim was saying, but that have a huge impact on the African Continent. I think when the U.S. Government speaks, any branch of the U.S. Government speaks out on African issues, people listen and people pay attention. I can say that the letter that you sent to President Wade on the Senegalese situation had a huge impact, because it did embolden the democrats of Senegal to know that they were not alone. And I think that's a very important message to send to people who put their lives on the line on a daily basis, sometimes in extremely difficult circumstances, to realize that they are part of a global community of democrats and people who care about democracy and good governance around the world. For the average Cameroonian, they look at Senegal, and they realize in the last 30 years, Senegal has had four heads of state, Sedar Senghor, Abdou Diouf, Abdoulaye Wade, and now Macky Sall. But in the same 30-year period, Cameroon has been subjected to one-man rule. And it dampens a sense of--it reinforces a sense of hopelessness, which we cannot allow to be sustained within the youth population. And it explains, to a large degree, why the youth population is becoming very detached from political engagement. And it also raises the prospect that ultimately, at some point, if citizens lose faith in the electoral process and in the ability to change their leaders through a credible democratic process, they're going to think of other means to have their voices heard. And I think the last thing we need on our hands is another incident of violence and instability on the African Continent. Senator Coons. Thank you, Dr. Fomunyoh. Dr. Ibrahim, if you might, you talk about the need for incentives, for recognition, for legacy, for a place to go, for a peaceful and appropriate opportunity after national leadership. And in our own national history, George Washington gave us a huge gift by, at the moment that he could have made himself President for life or king, handing back the reins of power and receding, and so, too, President Mandela of South Africa, who has been honored by your foundation for this, gave an enormous gift of leadership by demonstrating his selflessness in relinquishing control of the Presidency of South Africa. I just want to start by thanking you for what your foundation has done, for what you have done, to celebrate and recognize. I'd be interested in your view of what we can to do to continue to celebrate and recognize. Your idea of having us have leaders for a coke or encourage our President to have them for a tea I find charming and hopefully effective. But when we're talking about sending a letter to President Wade or President Biya, to some extent, this could be misinterpreted as a finger-wagging or shaming. Some have criticized the United States for not more vocally and publicly criticizing entrenched leaders like President Biya. But a lot of those communications have happened diplomatically, privately, in letters or communications that are less public. I'd welcome your advice on how to be most effective, how to be most respectful, but how the United States, given the sensitivities, how European countries like the United Kingdom-- we spoke earlier about former Prime Minister Blair's unconstructive role with Mugabe--how we can be effective in calling out those who perhaps deserve a trip to The Hague or perhaps deserve public opprobrium, and then how we balance that with offering encouragement and legacy and positive reinforcement for those who would seek that. Dr. Ibrahim. I really think, by mixing the incentives with the finger-wagging, then it doesn't become just finger-wagging. I think people should make a statement. I mean, I'm wondering why Mr. Sarkozy, for example, did not say anything about the election in Cameroon, unless he said something I haven't heard about it. I'm sure he didn't. Because that's also power, which has an effect. But if the United States and France, both of them said, really, this is not nice. And you know want? You're not going to be welcome in this country. That would be huge, a huge effect. At the same time, it would not be seen really as much as interfering in the internal affairs of the country, because you just made a statement--I will not give you a visa if you come to this country, which is not a big deal--but beside that, we need incentive for the good people as well, because that will always shed the light even on the guys who did not get it. And that I think is a balancing act between the two. Please, by any means, don't be shy in pointing fingers. But do the other things as well, so we don't appear only as just pointing a finger at people. And let us help build institutions and do things. I don't, for example, I did not enjoy very much the sight of American activists being taken out of Cairo by private plane, having paid so many millions just to get out. What were American activists doing in Cairo anyway? They have a few million Egyptian activists. You help institutions and instead of trying to intervene yourselves, just more appreciate it--because there are some people there, for good reasons or bad reasons, they're trying to find some reason to say, oh, the United States is trying to do something here, which in many cases is not fair. Senator Coons. Both of you have pointed out the very constructive role that ECOWAS has played. I take that advice about how we can work more constructively with regional institutions. I now need to bring this hearing to a close. We're at a time when I must. Dr. Ibrahim. Thank you, sir. Senator Coons. I have to speak also at the Budget Committee. I wanted to thank you for your constructive comments on the extractive industries part of the Dodd-Frank Act, also your positive comments on the Millennium Challenge Corporation. And we look forward to working together with you to find ways to further strengthen the recognition of those African leaders who make appropriate transitions. With that, we will keep the record open until Friday, April 20, for members of the committee who were not able to join us but have questions they would like to submit to either panel. Senator Coons. Thank you both very much for your testimony today. [Whereupon, at 4:15 p.m., the hearing was adjourned.] ---------- Additional Material Submitted for the Record Response of Assistant Secretary Johnnie Carson to Question Submitted by Senator James M. Inhofe Question. As we discussed at the hearing, First Lady Simone Gbagbo of Cote d'Ivoire has been held in captivity by Ouattara's rebel forces in the north of the country virtually incommunicado. She has been brutalized, starting when Rebel forces and French forces pulled her out of the Presidential Residence by her hair last April--I showed the public a picture of her bloody scalp on the Senate floor at the time and several times since. Mr. Assistant Secretary, now that President Gbagbo has been secretly transferred to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and will probably never be released from prison, I want again to request that the U.S. Government help facilitate the release of Simone Gbagbo and allow her to leave Cote d'Ivoire and go into exile. I have already given you the name of one African country that will grant her asylum immediately. The United States has done this type of activity in the past. In 1986, the Reagan administration assisted Haiti's ``Baby Doc'' Duvalier go into exile in France. This constitutes my second formal request on behalf of First Lady Gbagbo to the State Department, as I sent Secretary Clinton a letter on January 12, 2012, before her departure to Cote d'Ivoire, but have not received a formal response. I strongly believe that the process of reconciliation in war-ravaged Cote d'Ivoire can begin only if Simone Gbagbo is given asylum.
Will the Department of State support and facilitate the release and transfer of Simone Gbagbo from Cote d'Ivoire to that African country, I have shared with you, that will grant her immediate asylum? Answer. The Government of Cote d'Ivoire charged Simone Gbagbo with economic crimes against the state on August 16, 2011. We will continue to encourage the Government of Cote d'Ivoire to ensure that individuals who have been charged with crimes in Cote d'Ivoire are afforded due process, other fair trial guarantees, and held accountable if found guilty, or released if found innocent.